Potential Donation Information
Permanent Collection –
All offers to the museum’s permanent collections are evaluated by the museum’s Collections Committee to ensure the object fits into our collecting needs, is something we can commit to caring for long-term, and is not already well represented. In general, we only accept objects with a connection to Texas or Texans, from prehistory to the present. In some instances, objects which are representative of the cultural heritage of Texans are also considered, even if the direct Texas connection is not strong.
To help the committee to make its decision, the curatorial staff needs to know as much as possible about where the item came from, and the people who have owned and used it in the past. Any information you can provide about the object’s past can be helpful, but the museum is particularly interested in how objects can help to tell the stories of past Texans. Why did they chose to live in Texas? Where did they, or their ancestors, come from? What customs and traditions did they bring with them? What sorts of things they did to make a living here in Texas?
The committee will also consider objects that do not have a strong personal history, if these items are good examples of the types of objects that historic Texans might have made or used. Offers of this type of item are primarily evaluated based on their condition, size, and appropriateness for current and upcoming exhibit projects.
Objects accepted by the committee for the permanent collection, and donated to the ITC, are considered unconditional and irrevocable gifts. The museum will care for these items in accordance with our collections policy and following widely accepted museum standards of care for the long-term preservation and protection of these items. Permanent collection objects may be used for exhibitions, research, loan or examination but, ITC makes no guarantees concerning the frequency or duration of such exhibitions. Donations may be tax deductible. Please consult your tax adviser on any deductions and be aware that ITC is prohibited from providing appraisals of value.
Demonstration Collection –
The museum also has many hands-on programs where objects or replicas are used and handled, allowing our visitors to share an experience with someone of the past. As a result, these items experience a fair amount of wear, and need to be periodically repaired or replaced. In order to keep these programs well stocked with hands-on items, we also welcome inquiries about donating historic objects or replicas to our Demonstration Collection.
How to donate items –
Send an email, along with photos of your item(s) to ITC.Curator@utsa.edu. In this email please be sure to answer as many of the following questions as possible.
- List the specific item(s) being offered
- Age of the item(s)
- Dimensions of the item(s)
- When and where did you acquire the item(s)?
- Who originally owned the item(s) and any information you have about where he/she was from and their family history?
- Who made the item(s), or where was it purchased?
- What was the item(s) used for?
- How does the item(s) connect to Texas and Texans?
- Are you interested in donating the item(s) to the Demonstration Collection if it is not accepted into the Permanent Collection?
The curatorial staff will contact you with any follow-up questions they may have and will let you know when the committee has made its decision. Committee decisions are typically made within a month of the initial offer, but the exact amount of time required will vary based on staff schedules and other projects underway. Your patience is appreciated.