Donating Items for the Collection

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While donations to the collection are being accepted, potential donors are encouraged to hold onto potential donations until the COVID-19 pandemic has passed. If you are unable to safely store the items we ask that you contact the Museum by our online initial donation form, email, or phone prior to arriving so a safe area may be set up. We appreciate your understanding.

Thank you for your interest in donating to the Swift Current Museum. We collect materials for our permanent, education, and reference collections. The Museum Collections Officer is always willing to discuss offers of donation that are felt to be suitable for acquisition. Selected items are legally transferred to the Museum and are cared for to the highest standards we can offer. You will be required to complete and sign our donation paperwork otherwise donations will not be accepted.

If you are interested in donating to the Museum, please include or be ready to supply the following information. The Museum’s Collections Officer will review the information to determine the suitability of the items for donation.

  • Your name, and if applicable the owners name, along with accompanying contact information.
  • A list of all the items that you wish to donate and a brief description of the items.
  • If applicable, photographs of the items today and any historical images that show the items, owners, or users are encouraged.
  • Any history on the items, such as how it was created, ownership and use history, and any stories connected to the items, owners, or users.

We request that donations are not mailed to the Museum until after a discussion with the Museum Collections Officer. Local donors may stop by the Museum during regular business hours but are encouraged to contact the Museum Collections Officer beforehand to discuss the potential donation. If you have any additional questions or are looking to discuss a potential donation, please contact the Museum Collections Officer.

Our online initial donation form is a great way to begin the donation process and will expedite the process.

What Gets Accepted?

Our collection is made up of items, images, documents, and published works that represent and document the history and people of the Swift Current area. This can include, but is not limited to, household items, photographs, personal history, and operating records. Items with a recordable history, however mundane it may seem, are most desired as this helps the tell the story of the region. Decisions to formally accept items are based on:

  • Relevance and significance to the history of the area. Primary focus is on materials that were made or used locally or are associated with a local person, business, event, or place.
  • Do the donation items have enough significant intrinsic value, documentation, or anecdotal information that it could be used by researchers or staff to convey information about life in the Swift Current area.
  • Do the items relate to current research, exhibit, or interpretive programs or will the item be used in the foreseeable future.
  • Is there a clear history of use and/or ownership.
  • Are the items in the donation complete; either in one piece or with all parts available.
  • The physical condition of the items.
  • If the items or similar examples, with the same level of documentation and significance, are already present in the Museum’s collections.
  • Are there any safety concerns for staff, guests, researchers, or the collections. This includes items that have active mould, biological hazards, or contain unsafe/hazardous materials.
  • The availability of space and resources for appropriate care.

Unfortunately, we are unable to accept every donation and every item of each donation. If we are unable to accept an offer, we will try to recommend other relevant institutions that may have an interest. Also, some items are well represented in our collections. Of the items listed below unless they have a notable connection to the history of this area and its people, we will likely decline. We recommend checking with other museums in the area to see if they would be interested in the following items:

  • Adding machines
  • Bibles
  • Cameras
  • Dictionaries
  • Encyclopedia sets
  • Fiction Books
  • Glass insulators
  • Home audiovisual equipment
  • Magazines
  • Newspapers
  • Organs/pianos
  • Sad irons
  • Sewing machines
  • Sewing patterns
  • Slide projectors
  • Stuffed animals
  • Trunks
  • Typewriters
  • Wash boards

 
Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between the permanent, education, and reference collections?
The permanent collection holds items that have been deemed to have a unique or significance connection to local history. They are cared for to our highest standards and are kept in trust for future generations. Education collection items are similar to permanent collection items but lack a documented connection to local history or are a representation of permanent collection items in order to facilitate hands on use and travel for various public programming activities. Though documented they are not maintained to the same standards as the permanent collection due to the nature of their use. Reference collection items are those items that have a general connection to the area but may not be suitable for the other collections or are reproductions of original materials.

Will my object be displayed?
The Museum cannot guarantee when or for how long any donated items will be displayed to the public. While artefacts are used in temporary exhibitions and certain public programs, only a small percentage of the Museum’s collection is on display at any one time. Collection items that are not on display are held in the public trust using long-term preservation storage policies.

Collections are also available onsite to researchers and the public in a controlled setting. Any member of the public may view any item in the collections, providing the items is stable enough to be viewed. Advanced notice is required in order to retrieve items and determine how best to view the items.

Can I put conditions on my donation?
Typically, the Museum does not accept donations that have conditions attached. Short term requests may be discussed with the Museum Collections Officer.

I have something I’d like to donate but don’t want to be bothered with the details. Can I simply leave it at the Museum?
No. We are always interested in discussing new donations but unfortunately, for legal and public accountability, Museum Staff are not allowed to accept donation without following proper procedures. This includes recording background information on the donation items and completing basic paperwork.

What if I change my mind after the donation process is completed and I want my items back?
The final part of the paperwork process is a transfer of ownership. The original form is kept at the Museum and a copy is sent to the donor. Once this has occurred the objects are held in the public trust for future generations and cannot be returned.

If you have any additional questions, please contact the Museum Collections Officer. To begin the donation process please fill out the initial donation form.