Acquisition Policy

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Thank you for considering a donation to the McHenry County Historical Society. Please review the following FAQs regarding artifact donations.

• Does the McHenry County Historical Society accept all donations?

The large number of artifacts already under our care requires that we follow certain criteria when determining whether to accept new items for the collection. Factors include not only storage, but long-term preservation costs and potential for research and exhibit use. Our first consideration is whether the artifact(s) supports our mission. The McHenry County Historical Society (MCHS) collects materials unique to McHenry County history. This includes (but not limited to) McHenry County-made products and artifacts that represent the lives of the individuals who lived and worked in McHenry County.

• How do I donate materials?

To assist us, please fill out the attached (click) ARTIFACT INFORMATION FORM, or submit online form below. Additional questions should be directed to Curator Kira Halvey,

• What happens if my donation is not accepted?

If you are not interested in keeping your artifacts(s), the McHenry County Historical Society may accept your donation for hands-on education. Items also can be offered for sale to benefit the McHenry County Historical Society.

• Will my donation be exhibited?

At any given time, only a very small portion of the collection is on exhibit. There is no guarantee that your donation will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose. Documents are typically made accessible for public research in the research library. Onsite physical access to the collection storage areas will be limited to scholarly research.

• If I donate artifacts or documents, will they be returned to me at my request?

The McHenry County Historical Society cannot return accessioned collection materials to the donor. Once the curator accepts your donation for the collection, you will be asked to sign a Deed of Gift, which legally transfers ownership of your artifact(s) to the McHenry County Historical Society.

• Can artifacts and documented be removed the collection?

All donations will remain in the possession of the McHenry County Historical Society for as long as they retain their physical integrity and authenticity and as long as they remain useful for the purposes of the collection. Artifacts or documents that are damaged beyond repair, have a condition that puts other parts of the collection at risk, are duplicative of other artifacts in the collection, or are outside the scope of the collection may be considered for deaccessioning. Deaccessioned material may be transferred to the education collection, donated to another museum or sold. Any proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned material are placed in a restricted collection’s fund. In general donor notification of deaccessioned materials is not required by MCHS rules or regulations. However, the Society may choose to notify donors of the deaccessioned materials, especially artifacts of a more personal nature.

• Does the McHenry County Historical Society accept long-term loans?

While loan materials maybe accepted on a short-term basis in conjunction with exhibitions and other programs, MCHS does not accept long-term loans.

• Is my donation tax deductible?

Yes, but MCHS cannot provide appraisals of monetary value of materials proposed for donation. Please consult your tax adviser.

Artifact Donation Information

(during business hours)
(Please be as specific as possible include names, dates, physical description etc. Larger quantities of artifacts can be summarized.)
(Who made it? Who did it belong to? How was it used?)
(Is it damaged, stained?)