Donating Items 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 museum has many artifacts under our care. Proper storage and management of these items require we follow specific criteria when determining whether to accept new items for the collection. Factors include storage and long-term preservation costs, their potential for research, and future exhibit use. Our first consideration is whether the artifact(s) supports our mission. The McHenry County Historical Society (MCHS) only collects materials unique to McHenry County history, including (but not limited to) McHenry County-made products, businesses, and artifacts representing the lives of the individuals who lived and worked in McHenry County.

• How do I donate materials?

Please complete the form below. Please direct additional questions to Curator Kira Stell, kira@mchenrycountyhistory.orgPlease do not contact us by phone or bring items to the museum without completing the artifact donation form or being instructed by us to bring your items to the museum.

• 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. Under certain circumstances, we sell to benefit the McHenry County Historical Society.

• Will my donation be exhibited?

Because we exhibit a small portion of the collection at any given time, and unless expressly collected for an exhibit, there is no guarantee that your donation will be on display. Documents are typically made accessible for public research in the research library. Access to the collection storage area is 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, we require you to sign a Deed of Gift, which legally transfers ownership of your artifact(s) to the McHenry County Historical Society.

• Can artifacts and documents be removed from the collection?

All donations will remain in 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 collection. Damaged artifacts or documents, those damaged beyond repair or in such a deteriorated state 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. We place proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned material in a restricted fund for future restoration. MCHS does not notify donors when we deaccession their item; however, the Society may choose to inform donors of the deaccessioned materials, especially artifacts of a more personal nature.

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

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

• Is my donation tax deductible?

 MCHS will not appraise donated items or assign a monetary value to 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?)