FAQs about donating objects to Vermilionville:
Does Vermilionville accept unsolicited gifts or bequests of artifacts or other historical materials?
Yes. Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park welcomes and solicits donations when such donations support the needs of the collections and the mission of the organization. As not all historic items assist in the interpretation of the Acadian, Creole, and Native American cultures in the Attakapas region between 1765 and 1890, Vermilionville reserves the right to reject, prior to receipt, or to dispose of, after receipt and with signed confirmation of the donor, any materials deemed inappropriate for the collections.
Who do I contact to make a donation?
Contact Vermilionville’s Collections Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your potential gift or bequest. Please provide as much information as possible about the object’s history. It is especially helpful if you first send photographs and measurements of the material for consideration as Vermilionville cannot accept all donations.
Please do not drop-off or send objects without first contacting the Collections Manager. We want to make sure that your potential gift is properly identified and cared for.
What happens to an artifact after I offer it for donation to Vermilionville?
All objects offered for donation must go through a process of examination and review.
After contact with the Collections Manager, the Curatorial Committee will meet to review the objects. Limited storage space, duplication of objects in the collection, the condition of the offered piece, and very little or no known history of the object influence Vermilionville’s decision to accept donations. Those not accepted will be returned to the donor if Vermilionville has possession of them through a Prospective Donation Form.
If accepted, the donor will receive Certificate of Gift paperwork which transfers legal title of the gift to Vermilionville.
All donated artifacts are numbered, photographed, and cataloged in our database.
Will Vermilionville display my artifact?
While Vermilionville strives to incorporate the various artifacts in accordance with its mission statement, the lack of sufficient exhibition space and interpretive limitations make displaying every artifact impossible. Artifacts chosen for exhibition must support the exhibit’s underlying educational purpose. While some artifacts may never be seen in an exhibit, they may prove invaluable to researchers. Therefore, Vermilionville cannot guarantee any artifact will be displayed either temporarily or permanently.
Our aim is to preserve historical accuracy for the village and the artifacts within, so we do not inscribe artifacts on display or assign plaques with donor names for this reason. However, information about artifacts are kept both digitally and physically for future inquiries or interpretation.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Artifact donations may be deductible for tax purposes. Potential donors should consult their tax advisors for further information. If the donor is interested in a tax deduction, the donation must be appraised at the donor’s expense before bringing it to Vermilionville. Following the donation, the donor will receive a letter for tax purposes from the Vermilionville Living History Museum Foundation, Inc.
Will Vermilionville provide an appraisal for potential donations?
No. Under present tax laws, establishing the donation value for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor. Vermilionville staff may not, as an interested party, provide an appraisal.
Does Vermilionville ever sell my artifacts?
Artifacts remain in the permanent collections of Vermilionville if they continue to be relevant and useful to the purpose and activities of the institution, and if they can be properly stored and preserved. When these conditions no longer prevail, artifacts may be officially deaccessioned, or removed from the permanent collections, by disposal.
The procedure for disposing of artifacts is explicitly described in Vermilionville’s Collections Management Policy. Artifacts will not be given, exchanged, or sold privately to employees of the Museum, members of the governing authorities or to their representatives, members of Museum support groups, or volunteers.
Methods of disposal may include the following:
- If donor-imposed conditions restrict a disposal, the Museum may return the object to the donor or donor’s family in lieu of disposal.
- The object may be transferred from Permanent Collection to Vermilionville’s Educational Collection where it can be used for hands on activities.
- The object may be transferred to another institution, if one can be located that will accept the object. This would be an institution with a similar collecting area (e.g.: if a maritime related object, a maritime museum would be most appropriate).
- The object may be sold. This includes the sale of the object at public auction or by tender. This ensures the best fair market price for an object. Proceeds will only be used for direct care of permanent collections.
- The object may be destroyed. Destruction of the object is only considered for an object if it is in very poor condition or has irreparable damage. Destruction is defined as a situation whereby the object would be simply placed in the garbage after sufficient documentation has been procured and created and would only be used as a last resort.
Vermilionville will permanently preserve records and information regarding disposed objects, their disposal review including the reasons for disposal, their disposal status, and method of disposal.