Worthing Museum & Art Gallery

How to donate items

How do I donate items to the museum?

 You are welcome to offer items to the museum and we are offered two thousand objects each year.  However we only accept a small proportion of these. The museum does not just collect anything of interest.  We are only allowed to collect things that fall within our Acquisition Policy. We also do not usually collect items that are badly damaged unless the item is very rare or unusual. We will only collect a representative number of each item, so if we already have enough examples we will not try to acquire more.

We ask that in the first instance you write to the Manager with a description of the item (please also state the size, colour, condition, history) and send in a photograph if possible. The appropriate curator will be in touch and will either ask to see the object and arrange an appointment with you, or try to suggest another possible home for your item.

What happens to my object next?

 If we are interested in an object we will bring it into the museum for further assessment. Curators will research and record the history of the object, check its condition and assess any cleaning which may be required or damage to the object and repairs which may be needed.

What happens to the items we do not add to the collection after assessment?

 If you offer us an item and we choose not to add it to the collection then we will offer you a choice:

  • We may ask you to permit us to dispose of the object.  This may be to another museum if we think they would be interested in your object or we may suggest giving your object to a local charity.
  • Or if you wish we will return it to you.

Can the museum accept items left on the doorstep?

No - we need to know the provenance (who owned it previously and who wishes to give it to the museum) and history of an object before it can be added to the collection. We cannot accept items into the collection that may have been stolen or lost or loaned so we ask the owners of the object to sign a form called Transfer of Title. This form means that the object becomes the museum's property and is protected by legal safeguards.

If you do not give your contact details, or provenance, or sign this form or return to collect an object we have offered back eventually we would have to treat your object as lost property.