Donate an Object

image of a pitcher

How can I donate an artifact to a site?

Over the years NC Historic Sites has acquired approximately 70% of its artifact collection through public donations. Our Collections Branch supervises the acquisition of artifacts. 

To donate an object, please contact the site manager of the site where you would like to donate your item to or contact our Chief Curator in our home office. (919-814-7163) ( Plan to describe your object in detail and leave a detailed message, if necessary.  Attaching images of the artifact to your email will be incredibly helpful, as well. 

Our Collections Branch will work with you to determine which site is most appropriate for your item and whether the object meets our collection criteria. Criteria for evaluating your object for acceptance into the permanent collection includes the following considerations:

  • Was the object made or used in North Carolina? 
  • What is the object’s historical significance? 
  • Can documentation (written or oral) on the object be found? 
  • Does the object need conservation work?
  • Does the object fill a need in the existing collection? 
  • Is the object a duplicate to something already in the permanent collection? 
  • What is the object’s exhibit potential? 
  • What impact would the object have on available storage and exhibit space?

If the object meets enough criteria, our Chief Curator will present it to two committees, the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Acquisitions Committee and the NC Historical Commission.  Both committees will examine the merits of the object and will vote on its acceptance.

If the object is accepted, our registrar will send you a deed of gift form. This legal document certifies that the object is yours to donate and that you agree to assign all rights associated with the object to NC Historic Sites. When you sign and return the deed of gift, the object becomes part of the collection of NC Historic Sites.

Be aware that this process may take some time.  It is not unusual for it to take 4-6 months after you have donated your object to receive a deed of gift.