Donate an Object

Supporting Orkney's Museums

When an object is accepted into the collection, it will be preserved for future generations so it’s story can be shared.

Collections and Conservation

Our curators are responsible for the collections in Orkney Museum.  They ensure the collections are properly cared for, interpreted and made accessible to the public and to researchers.  If you have an enquiry about the collection please do get in touch.

Learn more about donating to Orkney's Museums Collections

Collections management describes how museums manage and care for their collections to meet standards and legislation relating to museums and collections.  

This includes safeguarding the preservation of the collections through appropriate conservation, handling, storage and display methods. It also includes encouraging research and public engagement by making available up-to-date essential information about our collections and ensuring the Museum develops and uses its collections in line with legislation and Museum policy. 

The Orkney Museum Group collections has a large, diverse and expansive collections, despite this some gaps still exist. Therefore, we welcome offers of material to its collections. 

We are not able to accept everything that it offered to us. Instead, we need to know more about the item(s) being offered before we can decide whether or not they are suitable for the collection. 

Contact the Museum in writing or by telephone before bringing in your objects—contacting us in advance can help avoid disappointment 

It may be that your donation is exactly what we have been looking for as it fits in with our Orkney Arts And Heritage Collections Policy 2019-2024, is in good condition and has a full history. In this case it will be accepted into our permanent collections. 

Hopefully your object is just what we are looking for, although it may not be put on display for some time. Orkney’s Museum cares for thousands of objects, and exhibitions and displays have to be carefully planned, often years in advance. 

Meanwhile, your object will be carefully stored and may be drawn upon for special exhibitions or lent for exhibition at other registered institutions. It will also be available for research, study and education purposes. 

We ask all potential donors to provide as much information as possible about their items.  

What is being offered – preferably an itemised list including title, description and date (where known). Please detail any markings on 3D objects. 

Provenance – Where did the items come from? How did you come by them? 

History – What can you tell us about the original owner (if anything)? 

Images – photographs or scans help us to assess condition and content. 

All donation offers which meet the criteria of the Collections Development Policy will be referred to the Collections team for a final decision to acquire. The team meets every 4-6 weeks on average. As such, there may be a delay before we are able to provide potential donors with a decision.

Please do not send or deliver the items themselves to us before we confirm that we are able to accept them. 

If you wish to offer us items as a donation, please get in touch by emailing 

 Alternatively, you can send your information to: 

Collections team, 

Orkney Museum, 

Broad Street, 


KW15 1DH 


Please ensure that your contact details are included with any material deposited with us. 

We will endeavour to reply to you within 2-4 weeks of receipt. Please do not send or deliver the items themselves to us before we confirm that we are able to accept them. 

Other things to note 

  • We prefer to acquire copyright with an item, where possible. 
  • We will not acquire photocopies or scans of originals, except in rare circumstances. 
  • We cannot guarantee to put an item on display. 
  • We are unable to accept unsolicited loans. 

You can read about our latest donation case studies in our news section.

Interested in donating an object? Add your details to receive further information and keep in touch.

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