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Donate an object

Are you interested in donating an object to our collection? Here’s everything you need to know.

You may have an item in your possession that you think might be suitable for our collection. Before you get in touch, please read the below information carefully.

Before you contact us

You may find it useful to read our collecting policy.

Please be aware that:

  • We are unable to give valuations
  • We don’t usually accept items on long-term loan
  • We can’t accept items with specific conditions attached
  • Generally speaking, we don’t collect moving film footage. The collection of films and television programmes in the United Kingdom is the responsibility of the BFI National Archive and the Imperial War Museum Film Archive
  • We can’t accept hazardous items unless there are particularly compelling reasons to do so. Hazardous items include firearms, objects containing asbestos, and explosive, flammable, poisonous, potentially carcinogenic or radioactive material

How to get in touch

Contact us in writing using the details below. Supply as much information as you can, including a photograph if possible.


Write to: Object Donations, National Science and Media Museum, Bradford, BD1 1NQ

Please don’t send the item to us, as we will not be able to return it.

As each donation is checked on a case-by-case basis, it may take up to 12 weeks to respond to your enquiry.

What happens if we accept your item?

  • The item will be stored under appropriate environmental conditions in our archives
  • It may be used in exhibitions, or loaned to other institutions
  • It will be available for research purposes to our curators, and to visitors using Insight: Collections and Research Centre
  • Your item may be more useful as part of our handling collection. If so, we will ask your permission to add it to this valuable resource

What if we do not accept your item?

We are not able to accept everything that is offered to us. If we can’t accept your item, please do not be offended—it may be due to one of the following reasons:

  • We already have a similar item in our collection
  • The item doesn’t meet the criteria of our collecting policy
  • The item isn’t in good condition
  • There isn’t enough information about the history of the item

If your item is not suitable for us, we’ll try to advise you of another institution which may be interested.

Our group

We are part of the Science Museum Group. If you feel your object might be better suited to one of the other museums in the group, you can find information at the following links: