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Object donations

We’d love to hear from you if you have an item that you think might be perfect for our collection, but please don’t bring it to the museum or send it by post without arranging with us first.

How to donate to the collection

So that we can determine whether the museum would make a good home for your item, you’ll need to send us as much information as you can via our object donation form.

Before you contact us, please be aware that:

  • We don’t usually accept items on long-term loan.
  • We can’t accept items with specific conditions attached.
  • We can’t accept hazardous items unless there are compelling reasons. Hazardous items include firearms, objects containing asbestos, and explosive, flammable, poisonous, potentially carcinogenic or radioactive material.
  • For information on how we manage the Science Museum Group Collection, please visit Managing the Collection.

What happens if your item is accepted

  • Your item will be stored with appropriate environmental conditions.
  • It may be included in temporary exhibitions or loaned to other accredited institutions.
  • It will also be available for research by our curators and visitors.
  • Your item may be more useful as part of our handling collection. In this case, we’ll ask your permission to add it to this valuable resource.

Why we might say no to your offer

We can’t take everything that is offered to us, so if we don’t accept your item, please don’t be offended. It may be for one of the following reasons:

  • We already have a similar item in our collection.
  • The item does not meet the criteria of our Collections Development Policy.
  • The item isn’t in good enough condition.
  • There isn’t enough information about the history of the item.
  • If your item is not suitable for our collection, we’ll try to advise you of another institution that may be interested.