Donate an Object

Donating Objects to the Museum of East Anglian Life

If you are reading this page then you probably have an object you would like to donate to the museum. Thank you for considering us, without support and donations from people like you we wouldn’t be the museum we are today. If you would like to donate an object to us then please read on...

Will the museum want my object?

The Museum uses strict guidelines to decide whether to accept an object or not. This is because looking after and displaying objects can be expensive, requiring a certain amount of care and attention. Limited space and budgets mean that museums must use strict criteria to decide what to accept.


When the Collections Team considers whether or not to accept an object they will ask the following questions:

  • Is the object significant to life in rural East Anglia?
  • Is the object in good condition and are there any potential conservation issues to be aware of?
  • Are the history and use of the object known?
  • Does it fit with the requirements of our collecting policy?
  • Does the museum already have a similar example?


The best advice is to contact the Museum by email or letter, including as much detail as possible and a photo if you can. We will then consider the object and get back to you.

What happens when I donate an object?

When you donate an object to the museum it involves transferring the legal ownership from you to the museum. The museum, which is a charity, holds the objects in ‘trust’ for the public. It is very difficult for a museum to return an object to a donor after the transfer of ownership has happened, so think carefully before you donate!


If your object enters the permanent collection

Your object will be accessioned and then kept safely. It may not necessarily be put on display straight away; however, it will be available for research, exhibition and loan to other museums.

If your object enters the handling collection

This means that the object will be used during the museum's work with groups such as school children and senior citizens, or for special events. The object will be enjoyed by lots of people; however wear and tear may mean that the museum will eventually have to dispose of it.


If you have any questions about donating objects to the Museum of East Anglian Life, please get in touch.

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