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Museum Collections
State Archives


The Society actively seeks high quality material to add to the museum collections and relies heavily upon gifts from those interested in Ohio's heritage. New collections also are acquired through bequests and some purchases. In considering additions to the museum collections, the Society evaluates five major questions:

1. How well does the object relate to the Society's mission?

The Society is interested in objects that relate to the lives of Ohioans (prehistoric and historic); that illustrate products made in Ohio; that are associated with important individuals, events, or places; or that document Ohio's natural history.

2. Does the object complement the existing Society collections?

During the past century, the Society has developed extensive collections. Efforts are made to strengthen existing collections or to build new ones in important areas. Objects may not be accepted if identical or comparable material already is in the collections.

Objects may be accepted for the Education Collection, which is used for demonstrations and other "hands on" educational programs. Because these items are used, they are not expected to be preserved as are the Society's permanent collections.

3. What is the quality of the object?

Society staff ask whether the object has characteristics that contribute to the Society's mission. Is it in good condition? Is it a representative piece from a particular type of object? Is the object complete? Does it demonstrate significant skill?

4. Is the object documented?

Objects that are authentic and accompanied by information about their manufacture, previous owners, use, etc. are valuable as resources for research and exhibit. Objects which are shown in photographs along with their makers or those who used them are especially interesting.

5. Can the Society legally become the owner of the object?

The Society normally does not accept objects on permanent or indefinite loan, particularly if there is no immediate use for the material in exhibit, research or
educational programs. The Society must be satisfied that donors do have the right to transfer ownership to the Society and that the Society can accept ownership.

The Society has not-for-profit 501(c)3 Internal Revenue Service classification which allows many donors to deduct gifts to the Society from their federal income taxes. Individuals and organizations considering donations with tax consequences are encouraged to seek the advice of an accountant or attorney.

NOTE: The Society does not provide appraisals. Society staff can suggest names of appraisers specializing in a particular field to anyone requesting assistance in establishing values of materials.


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