Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village is grateful for your interest in donating to our Collections. Donations to our Museum Collections support and assist us in fulfilling our mission to preserve, interpret, and exhibit the agricultural history and rural heritage of the Buffalo Niagara region.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

BNHV Artifact Donations

 

How do I offer to donate an item to the BNHV Collection? 

Donation offers must be submitted in writing. They may be received by email at curator@bnhv.org or by mail at 3755 Tonawanda Creek Road, Amherst, NY 14228. 

Prospective donors are required to submit the following: 

    • Photos of the item(s)
    • Provenance details 
    • Item dimensions 

Upon receipt of this information, donation requests will be reviewed by the Director of Collections for possible accession into the BNHV Collection. Items may be accepted for accession into the Artifact Collection or the Userfact Collection. 

When will I hear back regarding my donation offer? 

Donation offers are reviewed within 4 to 6 weeks. The Director of Collections will contact you via email. 

What criteria must an item fulfill to be considered for accession into the BNHV collection? 

BNHV follows a policy of selective acquisition. All donation requests are thoughtfully considered to ensure that donated objects complement our collecting focus and aid in fulfilling our mission as an educational institution. Due to limited funds, storage space, and concern for the required preservation needs of each object, we are only able to accept donations that are in line with the Museum’s mission and collecting focus.

    • Items must support BNHV’s mission to preserve, interpret, and exhibit the agricultural history and rural heritage of the Buffalo Niagara region. 
    • Duplicates of items already present in the Collection cannot be accepted. 
    • Items must be in stable condition. 
    • All items are considered on a case by case basis and are subject to approval. 

What sort of items is BNHV interested in? 

The Museum is actively collecting artifacts with provenance, such as: 

    • Agricultural Tools
    • Craft and Trade Tools
    • Community Life (business, religious, social, etc.)  
    • Buffalo Niagara Photographs and Ephemera related to local agricultural and rural life
    • Buffalo Niagara Genealogy and Oral History 

What sort of items is BNHV not actively accepting? 

Due to storage constraints, the Museum is not actively collecting the following items: 

    • Items without provenance 
    • Contemporary Clothing Textiles 
    • Contemporary and/or Reupholstered Furniture
    • Historic Structures  
    • Looms
    • Military Uniforms
    • Newspapers
    • Spinning Wheels 
    • Wedding Dresses 

Will BNHV staff come to my home to evaluate a prospective donation?

No. Due to safety policies, Museum staff are unable to do in-home visits. All prospective item donations must be submitted in writing per the above protocol. 

Will BNHV pick up an item from my home for donation? 

No. BNHV is unable to facilitate donation pick ups. Donors must drop off approved item donations to the Museum at a mutually agreed upon time.

Can BNHV appraise my item? 

No. BNHV is not able to provide an appraised value for items.

Can I take a tax deduction for my donation? 

Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and donations to the collection are generally tax deductible. The Museum recommends you consult with a tax professional to confirm. BNHV cannot offer tax advice. 

Will my donation be returned to me upon my request? 

No. BNHV cannot return donated items to a donor or their heirs once the items have been legally accessioned into the collection. By signing the Acquisition Form and Deed of Gift, a donor transfers legal ownership of donated items to the Museum. 

Will my item be exhibited?

BNHV is unable to guarantee that an item will be exhibited. 

Can items be removed from the BNHV collection? 

Yes. BNHV may, with approval from the Collections Committee and the Board of Trustees, remove artifacts from the collection by deaccessioning. The deaccession process adheres to strict standards as prescribed by the American Alliance of Museums. Items may be deaccessioned if they no longer fit the museum’s collecting goals, if their condition is poor and/or poses a danger to the public, staff and/or the collection, or are duplicates in the collection. Deaccessioned items may be transferred to another museum or cultural institution, destroyed, or sold. As ownership of items is transferred to the Museum upon completed donation, the Museum is not obligated to inform donors of such action.

Can I mail or drop off a donation? 

No. BNHV is unable to accept unsolicited donations that are left or abandoned on our property without prior approval. All prospective donations must be reviewed and approved by the Director of Collections per the above protocol. BNHV reserves the right to dispose of unsolicited items.