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Donating to the Ohio History Connection Collections

What Do We Collect?

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.

Why should I donate to the Ohio History Connection?

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.

Where do I drop off materials?

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.

How does the donation process work?

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.

Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?

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                                                               htttp://


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.

What happens to my donation?

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. 

  • Archival and library materials are stored in the secure, temperature controlled stacks at the Ohio History Center in Columbus. They are available to researchers during open hours in the Archives & Library reading room. 


  • Historical objects, archaeology collections and natural history specimens are stored at the Ohio History Connection's collections facility. They are available to researchers by appointment, exhibited at the Ohio History Center and our 50 plus sites statewide and loaned to other museums that meet borrowing criteria. 

Where do you find information about Ohio History Connection collections?

Information about the collections can be found in the online collections catalog:

Digitized collections are available online in the Ohio Memory digital library:

Will my donation be on exhibit?

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.

Do you collect materials related to recent events?

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.

Are there things that you are looking for?

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.