Donating an item to our collection

Donated objects are recorded, preserved and cared for to the highest standards. However, this comes at a high cost, forcing us to be selective about what we can now accept into our keeping.

Any new donations accepted into our care must represent a meaningful addition to the collection, providing insights into the human experience of war and conflict and the impact it has had on people’s lives.

Our collecting decisions are influenced by various factors:

  • We have particular priorities and programmes for collecting.  Our Acquisition and Disposal Policy determines what we can collect and outlines our priorities.
  • Some areas of the Collections are already very well developed.
  • We have to use our space and resources wisely.
  • We cannot acquire material where current ownership is unknown or might be disputed.

How to offer an item for our collections:

  • Please use our Donations form to tell us about the material you would like to offer IWM.  
  • If you want to talk to IWM about donating material for The Holocaust Galleries please send us an email  and a member of the team will get in touch. 
  • Provide us with as much information as possible about the items themselves and how you acquired them.  Use the Object donation checklist below to help with this. 
  • One of our specialist curators, archivists or librarians will assess your offer and contact you if interested.  However, IWM receives many offers of material for the Collections and we do try to consider every one. It may take us some time to respond to you.
  • Please note we are unable to accept offers by post or in person at IWM North. 

Object donation checklist

  • Can you describe what it is?
  • Do you know who made it?
  • Do you know its history?
  • Are there any personal stories associated with it?
  • Where did you get it from?
  • Can you confirm you or the legal owner would be happy to transfer ownership of the item permanently to IWM?
  • Can you provide a digital image of it, including close up shots of any identifying marks?
  • Can you describe its physical condition, including whether it is in good/fair/poor condition?

Donate To Collection

More Information

  • What We Are Collecting

    Find our what IWM is currently collecting.

  • Recent acquisitions

    Read about objects we have recently acquired.