Want to Donate an Object to the
Sharon Historical Society?
When we add to the Sharon Historical Society Museum’s permanent collection, we’re not just acquiring objects, papers, or artwork. We’re collecting stories.
This is one of the main tenets of collecting at the Museum. And it’s something to keep in mind if you’re ever thinking about offering something for donation. How do you donate?
Email or call us!
Most donations to the Sharon Historical Society Museum start with an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (518) 860-5513. Maybe someone is cleaning out their attic and found a collection of old political campaign buttons. Maybe a general contractor is working on a building and wants to preserve some historical element that’s being removed. Maybe someone’s great-grandmother has passed away, and they’re clearing out her house of her (possibly) priceless art.
Whatever the reason for the outreach, we ask for a photo and a brief description of the artifact with some sense of its story and background.
Before you write about your heirloom, however, keep in mind that there are a couple of things we can’t do. First, we can’t do appraisals or in any way help you estimate what an object is worth. And second, we can’t help you authenticate a piece. Think your aunt’s oil-on-canvas landscape is a genuine Thomas Cole? We can’t help you there.
If a donation is what you have in mind, we will reply to your initial message and ask for more information. We are trying to determine several things:
What kind of condition is it in?
Do we have the expertise and resources to conserve, maintain, and store it?
Can we exhibit it in the future?
Does the object help tell a story about our past or present?
We don’t have the resources to accept certain objects, and we never take anything that we don’t think we can take care of properly. We generally say “no” to exceedingly large artifacts – like pianos or big architectural elements - because we don’t have the storage space or facilities to exhibit them.
And once we decide to accept your item, it becomes official: The donor fills out a deed of gift, and we formally take it into our collection.
What does the donor get in return? First, they can pick the object’s credit line - either their own name or in honor of someone - so the piece always has that association. But more importantly, they have the satisfaction of knowing that a treasured object - and the story that goes with it - will be preserved for generations to come.