The Ohio History Connection collects archival and library materials and museum objects of various types that document and further the understanding of Ohio's past and present.
It is primarily through the generosity of individual donors that we are able to build the Ohio History Connection's collections. Thoughtful people who decide to entrust historical materials to the Ohio History Connection make it possible for us to preserve and share the story of Ohio's past with present and future residents.
Donation offers that are mailed to or dropped off at the Ohio History Center or one of our sites without previously contacting the staff may not be accepted for the Ohio History Connection collections. To ensure that all donated materials are properly documented and preserved, it is important for you to call or email the curators.
Please give a specific description of the items you want to donate so your offer can be forwarded to the person best able to respond. It would also be helpful if you can send digital pictures of the items.
We receive a high number of calls and e-mails and will do our best to respond in 10-15 business days.
When you communicate with the curators about a donation, they will give you instructions for dropping off or shipping the material. Please do not mail or drop off any materials for donation without making prior arrangements with the curatorial staff. The Ohio History Connection has no obligation to preserve any materials that are mailed to or dropped off at the Ohio History Connection or one of our sites without making prior arrangements.
Donations are a legal transfer of property and any rights that you may hold in the collection to the Ohio History Connection. At the time a collection is transferred you will sign a donation receipt documenting when the material was transferred and your intent to donate it. This receipt serves as a record of your donation for tax purposes.
After a donation has been formally accepted you will receive a deed of gift in the mail, including a copy for your records, from the Ohio History Connection Registrars Office. By signing the deed of gift you will legally transfer ownership of the materials to the Ohio History Connection.
While tax deductions for the monetary value of donations have been permitted, we recommend consulting with a tax professional for the most current interpretation of tax laws.
For ethical and professional reasons Ohio History Connection staff and anyone acting on behalf of the organization cannot provide monetary appraisals for donations. We recommend consulting one of the two professional organizations for appraisers to find appraisers qualified to evaluate archaeological and historical materials:
American Society of Appraisers Appraisers Association of America
P.O. Box 17265 386 Park Ave. South, Suite 2000
Washington, DC 20041 New York, NY 10016
703-478-2228 / 800-272-8258 212-889-5404
If you are planning to take a tax deduction for a donation in a particular calendar year, you need to contact the Ohio History Connection by September of that year to begin the donation process. We cannot guarantee that a donation will be completed by the end of the calendar year if you contact us after September.
The Ohio History Connection is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. We adhere to the highest professional standards in the museum field, and we are committed to the long-term preservation of the collections in our care.
Information about the collections can be found in the online collections catalog:
Digitized collections are available online in the Ohio Memory digital library:http://www.ohiomemory.org
We cannot guarantee that archival materials or museum objects will be displayed, though we do look for opportunities to display materials when appropriate. For their long term preservation and safety, it is best for most materials to be displayed for limited periods of time.
Yes! There is no requirement that something be a certain age before it can become part of the Ohio History Connection collections. History is unfolding around us every day. We want to collect materials that illustrate how we live now and tell the stories of Ohioans in the late 1900s and early 2000s for future generations.
Collecting needs change regularly based on upcoming exhibits, programs, and projects. Look a the pages for each collecting area on the left--Archaeology, History, Manuscript & Audiovisual, Natural History and Print Materials--for more information about each areas' collecting criteria.