Collection Donations FAQs

Volunteer at Bernalillo Community Museum

We appreciate donations of items from the community for the museum collection. To insure your donation is properly received and credited, please contact museum staff before mailing or drop off.

How long does it take for the museum to review proposed donations?

Timelines for donation vary, however the process generally takes between four to six months. If you have an item that you would like us to consider for donation, please send us an email and we will contact you to get more information. If a staff member believes that your donation should be added to our collection, it will be reviewed by the Advisory Board, which usually meets quarterly. If your proposed donation is accepted by the Advisory Board, you will be contacted by a staff member to complete a Deed of Gift for the donation, which legally transfers the property to the museum.

Will the museum appraise my donation for its monetary value?

Legally, museum staff cannot provide a value for your donation. However, professional appraisers will perform this service for a fee. To find a licensed appraiser in your area, you may contact one of the following organizations for a referral.

Will the museum display my donated objects?

The Museum cannot guarantee that any item donated to the collection will be placed on exhibit, unless it is expressly written in the Deed of Gift. Objects from the collection can also be placed on loan to other institutions for temporary exhibitions. Additionally, most of our collection is made publicly available for research purposes.

Will donated items be returned to me or my family?

The Museum cannot return accessioned collection materials to the donor, or family members. Once you have signed a Deed of Gift, ownership of your object is legally transferred to the Museum. If you are not sure that you would like to permanently donate your items, the Museum does accept loan materials on a short-term basis depending on exhibitions and other programs. We do not accept objects for long-term loans. You can also grant the Museum permission to make copies, or take a photograph of your item(s) to add to our digital collection for research purposes.

Can artifacts and documents be removed from the collection?

Depending on the Advisory Board’s approval, objects might be removed from the collection through a process called deaccessioning. Objects that are damaged beyond repair, duplicates, or items that no longer fit within the scope of the collection may be considered for deaccessioning. Deaccessioned material may be transferred to another museum, cultural or educational organization, auctioned for fundraising purposes, or destroyed if necessary.

If you have something that might be a good addition to our collection, please contact us, and a staff member will discuss your potential donation with you.

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