Donation Guidelines (incl. Memorial Gifts).

January 2020: Clarification on items we might consider for donation:

In terms of donations and memorial gifts, we encourage donations of items to the museum for the archive and collections along the following lines – and are grateful for them:

We have an active interest in linked social/military archives that present a picture of one of our soldiers. We call this a ‘Bundled Archive’.

Ideally, a ‘bundled’ archive would consist of a range of the following key items (this makes it easier for us to sort and prioritise how it is displayed).

  • Personal ID including portrait photographs (ideally labelled), army paybooks, membership cards etc.
  • Medals, uniform regalia (including medal cards and citations)
  • Photographs in service (again, with person labelled)
  • Uniform items (regular service uniform up to WW2 – no Dress uniforms issued after 1900 please)
  • Personal items of equipment (no firearms unless deactivated to 2017 standard and attributed specifically to the person’s service)
  • Diaries and personal accounts, including correspondence relating to service
  • Newspaper and other media pertaining to the person/events/battles etc.
  • Official entries in Hansard/Gazette/etc. or civic citations
  • Photos in later life/non-uniform/other
  • Obituary, testimonials etc.
  • Mention in published literature/books (especially recognised Corps or Regimental texts)

We are especially interested in items that show an interesting element of a person’s service or life, for example a bullet dented coin, or a series of love letters home.

It is far less in our interest to accept individual items from the list above as these don’t show the person ‘in the round’.

We no longer have space nor the resources to accept items of uniform post WW2, nor any ephemera or ‘trench-art’.

As a near complete collection, we are not actively collecting other items at the present time.

If the donated items are intended for sale such that their proceeds can be used for the Museum’s development, please ask the donor to agree this with the Director.

We cannot accept items from the following categories:

  • Unlicensed or active firearms
  • Certain personal weapons or improvised weapons (such as knuckle dusters, coshes etc)
  • Items containing or likely to contain asbestos (respirators or gas masks)
  • Items containing or likely to contain Radium (dials, instruments, watches and compasses pre- 1950 or certain weapons sights)
  • Spent or active munitions, part or remnants of munitions, shrapnel or battlefield finds.
  • Human remains, bones, hair, or items stained with bodily fluids (blood etc)
  • Archaeological finds, notably from a battlefield or war site.
  • Items of Nazi origin, or items connected with fascist regimes.
  • ‘Liberated’ items from WW2 or beyond.
  • Items with Colonial interpretations or connections
  • Any other items where provenance and ownership cannot be proven beyond doubt.
  • Large items, including framed paintings or flags, or items of sculpture, without first submitting a photograph and sundry details.
  • Items requiring substantial restoration, or where their poor condition places upon the Museum a liability to restore them that is beyond our means.
  • Items of offensive nature.
  • Reproductions or facsimile items, or items copied from the original without provenance.
  • Items that carry a restriction or condition on their potential display or usage. (i.e. items that are donated on condition we put them on display).
  • Items donated only on loan or long-term loan.

We are always grateful of offers of donations to our Museum, but if there is any doubt about the above guidance, we encourage the donor/you to talk to us before bringing items into the museum.

Owing to strict rules that apply to the UK Museum sector, we have duties to record and report all donations, including sharing of sensitive data, with legal authorities should questionable items come to our notice. We feel it is important to share this information with our potential donors, although please do not infer from this that we believe their/your offer to be anything but kind and legitimate and for which we are sincerely and genuinely grateful.

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