Please note that beginning June 1, 2024, we will significantly limit our artifact collecting due to our upcoming transformation.

How Can I Donate an Artifact to the Museum?

Over the years, the North Carolina Museum of History has acquired approximately 85 percent of its artifact collection through public donations. The curatorial staff supervises the acquisition of artifacts.

To donate an object, please contact the museum at 919-814-7024 or email the Chief Curator RaeLana Poteat, at Plan to describe the object in detail and leave a detailed message, if necessary, so that your voice-mail or e-mail message can be directed to the proper curator. Attaching images of the artifact to your email will be incredibly helpful to the curator, as well.

The curator will work with you to determine whether the object meets the museum's collecting criteria. Criteria for evaluating the object for acceptance into the collection include the following considerations:

  • Was the object made or used in North Carolina?
  • What is the object's historical significance?
  • Can documentation (written or oral) on the object be found?
  • Does the object need conservation work?
  • Does the object support the existing collection?
  • Is the object a duplicate?
  • What is the object's exhibit potential?
  • What impact would the object have on available storage space?

If the object meets enough criteria, the curator will present it to the Acquisitions Committee. After examining the object, the NCMH committee will vote on its acceptance, and the curator will notify you of the committee's decision.

There are still two more committees (North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources and the NC Historical Commission) that must vote to accept the object(s) prior to the Registrar from the Collections Section sending you a deed of gift form. With this legal document, you are certifying that the object is yours to donate and that you agree to assign all rights associated with the object to the museum. If the object is accepted, a registrar from the Collections Management Section will send you a deed of gift form. This legal document certifies that the object is yours to donate and that you agree to assign all rights associated with the object to the museum. When you sign and return the deed of gift, the object becomes part of the collection of the North Carolina Museum of History.