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Donation Procedures for the Johnson County Historical Society

Thank you for thinking of the Johnson County Museum of History in making a decision to find a new home for your cherished possessions! We take pride in the privilege of accepting artifacts and materials for preservation and in creating educational exhibits for the Johnson County Historical Society (JCHS), the owner of any donated materials.

The following procedures will guide you through the steps of accepting a donation into our museum collection, known as the accessioning process.

To donate:

Email our Curator Theresa at tkoenigsknecht@co.johnson.in.us in advance to discuss your donation or to schedule a meeting.

Be sure to include…

    Its Johnson County connection.
  • A picture.
  • An artifact description.
  • The history and provenance behind the donation.

Please note that due to scheduling and safety concerns walk-in donations will only be considered Tuesday-Friday if our Curator is available to meet with you.

What do we accept?

Only items that meet the Johnson County Museum of History mission and meet the donation requirements will be accepted.

Our mission: to collect, preserve, interpret, and promote the material culture of the Johnson County region.

All donations are considered as outright, unconditional, and irrevocable. (The JCHS Board reserves the right to make exceptions and special considerations.)

Potential donation items should…

  • Be safe to handle.
  • Have intrinsic value.
  • Be lawful. We reserve the right to turn matters over to police if we feel something has been stolen. We also abide by the policies of UNESCO and NAGPRA.
  • Have a clear connection to Johnson County history, art, or culture.
  • Be museum quality. Primary consideration is given to our ability to provide proper care and storage for artifacts.
  • Be accompanied by accurate provenance, which includes historical information, details of ownership or use. The story behind an object is the most valuable part!

The next steps:

Please know that we do not accept all artifacts/materials given. We accept donations on a temporary basis while our Curator and Collections Committee assess whether we will accept the items into either our permanent collection or our education collection.

If we accept your donation, two copies of a Deed of Gift will be mailed to you. Please sign and return one copy and keep the other for your records. You will have 30 days to reclaim declined items.

The future:

Our acceptance of your donation means that the JCHS will accrue costs of cataloging, storing, exhibiting, and preserving each artifact. We take this responsibility very seriously and this plays a large role in determining which items we can accept.

It is important to us for our donors to understand how we maintain and preserve our collection to ensure we can keep collecting into the future. An essential part of that process is called deaccessioning. This is a unique circumstance in which an object is permanently removed from the collection. We have strict policies that determine what objects are eligible for deaccession and follow national ethical standards which you can read more about here.

The museum manages thousands of artifacts that are rotated in exhibits on a regular basis. Your donation may not be on display when you come to visit. Please know that this does not mean that your artifact is any less important to us or our mission. Thank you again for your interest in donating to the Johnson County Museum of History!

 

Contact the Curator at 317-346-4501 or tkoenigsknecht@co.johnson.in if you have any questions about this process or would like to discuss a donation.