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Donating Objects and/or Archival Materials

The Strathcona County Heritage Foundation is responsible for gathering, safeguarding, advocating, and exhibiting the historical and cultural heritage of Strathcona County, achieved through the management of the Strathcona County Museum & Archives. Items offered for donation should possess a credible link to Strathcona County, encompassing its inhabitants and history. On occasion, we may accept items that don't strictly adhere to this criterion to enrich our educational collection, which is utilized in hands-on programs and outreach initiatives. However, our capacity for storage is limited, which may influence our ability to accept certain donations. Donated artifacts are recorded and cared for to the highest standards.

The Strathcona County Museum & Archives requires that all potential donors complete an Offer of Donation form.

Please do not send your objects or archival material to the Museum until requested to do so by Museum staff.


  • I have something I'd like to donate. Can I drop it off at the Museum without prior arrangement?
    No. We are very interested in hearing more about your objects and/or archival material, but unfortunately for reasons of security and public accountability, Museum employees including are not allowed to accept donations “over the counter.” Unsolicited donations will not be accepted.
  • What is the Offer of Donation form and why is it necessary?
    The purpose of the Offer of Donation form is to gather more information about the offer, and for the donor to confirm that they are the legal owner of the objects and/or archival material on offer. A team of Museum experts will review the information provided to reach a decision or ask more questions if needed. The accuracy and completeness of the information provided will help speed up the review.
  • Can I submit my completed Offer of Donation form in person rather then electronically?
    Yes. Please drop off your completed form to the front desk staff during our hours of operation.
  • Can the Museum tell me if they are interested in the objects and/or archival material I am offering before I complete the Offer of Donation form?
    No. The completion of the Offer of Donation form is the mandatory first step in the acquisition process. The Museum cannot evaluate an offer without a completed form.
  • How does the Museum decide what it would like to acquire?
    Unfortunately, the Museum is not able to accept every donation that is offered. Decisions to acquire objects and/or archival material are based on several factors, including the Museum’s collections criteria and mandate; whether the objects and/or archival material fill a gap in our collection or are sufficiently represented; the availability of space and resources for appropriate care; and whether the current ownership is unknown or might be disputed.
  • How long will it take to process my offer of donation?
    It may take several weeks to review and process your offer after we receive the Offer of Donation form and supporting images and documentation. Providing accurate and complete information helps to speed up the decision-making process. All offers are reviewed by Collections staff and must go through multiple stages before the process is complete. We consider each offer in turn and strive to keep the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.
  • What can I do if the Museum is not able to accept my donation?
    If the Museum is not able to accept your offer, we will try to recommend other institutions that may have an interest in the objects and/or archival material you wish to donate.
  • Will my objects and/or archival material be displayed?
    Acquisition does not guarantee public exhibition, and the Museum does not accept donations offered with conditions. While artifacts are rotated in and out of exhibition, only a small percentage of the Museum’s collection is on display at any one time. The remainder of the collection is held in storage designed for long-term preservation.
  • If my objects and/or archival material are not displayed, what happens to them?
    The artifacts in storage are available for consultation on site to Museum staff, researchers, genealogists, students, writers, artists, media and many others. Artifacts may also be loaned to other qualifying museums, and many of the artifact records can be accessed or viewed through various online resources.
  • Can I visit the objects and/or archival material that I have donated?
    We always make our best effort to accommodate requests to see artifacts. Please send us advance notice of your visit so that we can retrieve the artifacts from storage or inform you if they are on display, in conservation, or if special scheduling is required.
  • What if I change my mind once my donation has been accepted?
    Once ownership has been signed over, the artifacts are the property of the Museum and cannot be returned. If you have concerns, please discuss them with us prior to signing over ownership.
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