Do You Think You Have Something For Us? How to Donate an Object to the Museum:
The Fenimore enriches community life through education and preservation. We are dedicated to linking the past to the future by preserving, clarifying and disseminating information about history specific to the Central New York region and by encouraging participation in the arts and humanities through our public programs…
We have great interest in acquiring objects that will help us promote our mission. If you have an item that you believe would enhance the collections, and you would like to donate it to the museum, please take the time to read this guide. Understanding our acquisition policies and following our guidelines for proposed donations will help make the donation process as smooth as possible for everyone involved. Thank you for your time and attention.
View our Collection Management Policy
Tell Us About It Before You Bring It In To Us
To help us better assess your proposed donation and how it can contribute to our mission, we ask you to please tell us about it in an email. (Photographs of the object(s) are also appreciated.) Please wait until you hear from us before you bring the item to the museum. The more accurate information you can give us about an item you wish to donate, the better we’ll be able to understand its significance and interpret it for the education of the public.
Please Understand That We Can’t Accept Everything
The museum’s collections deserve the best care we can give them, and yet our resources are limited. We must beware of accepting more objects than we can properly care for. Therefore, we will be most likely to accept your donation for the collection if:
– it has a clear connection to the museum’s mission;
– it doesn’t duplicate objects already in the collection; and
– it is sufficiently well documented that we can interpret it usefully for the public.
Furthermore, not everything we do accept will necessarily go on permanent exhibit. Our collections include items used for research and for public education programs, as well as those displayed in the galleries. All of these uses help promote our mission of preservation and education. Finally, all artifact donations must be approved by the Collections Committee of the museum’s Board of Trustees.
Have It Appraised If You Want A Tax Deduction
Your artifact donation may be tax-deductible. However, to ensure the appropriate value of your deduction, the piece must be properly appraised. We cannot appraise proposed donations for you. We are not qualified appraisers, and even if we were it would be a conflict of interest for us (as a possible recipient) to appraise your potential donation. You can obtain references to qualified appraisers through the International Society of Appraisers.
We greatly appreciate your interest in our museum and your desire to help build our collections.
Contact us at [email protected]