Artifact Donation

Military Room Exhibit

The Museum accepts donations of historic artifacts, photos, and documents that meet the Museum’s mission of preserving and promoting Perry County’s history. The Museum relies on the generosity of donors to enhance and expand its collection. Every year, new artifacts and documents are added to the collection through the generosity of individuals like you. Each potential donation is reviewed to evaluate its appropriateness for the permanent collection. The curators use several questions as guidelines to evaluate the potential of an item. These questions are:

  • Does the object represent a significant event, person, community, place, business, or organization in Perry County?
  • Does the object represent a milestone or pivotal point in history?
  • Does the object represent a unique material, technique, or design?
  • Does the object fill a void in, duplicate an item in, or support items in the existing collection?
  • Is there documentation (written or oral) on the object?
  • What is the overall condition of the object?
  • What impact would the object have on available storage space?

The Perry County Museum welcomes inquiries about potential donations. If you have any questions about donating artifacts to the Museum, please contact a staff member at 812-548-6781 or use our contact form.

Old Photos

If you have photographs of buildings, public events, or people in Perry County, Indiana, please consider donating them to the Museum. We accept all types of photographic images, including negatives, slides, and prints. We are particularly interested in photographs that can be identified as to time, place, buildings or people, or other subject matter.

We collect photographs in a few ways:

  1. Donate the actual original picture.

  2. Bring the original to the museum where we can scan it and return it to you.

  3. Scan the original yourself and attach it to an email to Please scan the original at the highest quality available.

In all cases, please provide a brief description of the photo, names of individuals in the photo, approximate date of photo, and any further details you have about the photo. Each photo will be given a unique number, stored in an archival sleeve, and filed in our photograph archive.

Due to the fact that we receive many requests for copies of the images in our collections, we ask that if you own the copyright on the images, you grant to the Perry County Museum the right to reproduce, display, publish, and sell copies of the image.

Unknown Children

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the Museum collect items?

Nearly 100% of the Museum's collection is from the generosity of donors that have recognized the importance of sharing our local heritage and history with others.

If you have artifacts, documents, or photos you believe would complement the Museum's collection, please contact the Museum.


What kind of artifact donation does the Museum accept?

The museum accepts donations of historic artifacts that help in meeting our mission of preserving and promoting Perry County and the cultural heritage and history of her various communities. The Museum relies on the generosity of donors to enhance and expand the collections.

Items may have specific historical significance, be a period piece used by Perry County citizens or a product/good produce by a Perry County business or person.


How do I donate an artifact to the Museum?

To make an artifact donation, contact the museum and arrangements will be made with you. We will inquire about the history of the item so that we can share that story with our visitors. A donor form will be completed along with an deed of gift form transferring the item to the Museum.


Will my donated items be on exhibit?

The Perry County Museum cannot guarantee that any objects or documents donated to its collection will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose. Only a small fraction of the collection is on view at any given time. This minimizes the risk of damage to artifacts and documents and helps us preserve those items for future generations. However, artifacts and documents can be made accessible for research purposes.


If I donate something to the Museum, will it be returned upon my request?

The Museum cannot return accessioned collection materials to the donor. Once the Museum accepts your donation, you will be asked to sign a deed of gift, which legally transfers ownership of the item to the Museum.


Will the Museum appraise my donation for its monetary value?

No, the Perry County Museum cannot legally provide an appraisal for artifact donations. The Tax Reform Act of 1984 bars museums and other donee organizations from providing appraisals for a donor's tax-deductible object. In addition, many professional codes of ethics prohibit museum staff from providing monetary appraisals.

However, professional appraisers will perform this service for a fee. Contact your tax professional for guidelines on appraisal of gifts to charitable organizations.


Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?

The Perry County Museum is recognized as a charitable organization, thus the fair market value of your donated artifacts is generally tax deductible. To ensure you receive the maximum benefit, it is recommended you consult with your accountant or tax professional.


Can I loan an item to the Museum?
Yes, the Perry County Museum does borrow items for exhibit. In addition to the museum’s artifacts, we sometimes borrow items that are not represented in our collection from other cultural institutions, businesses, or individuals to enhance our exhibits. However, the museum is unable to accept long term loans, loans for an unspecified period of time, or items that are not related to a specific exhibit. We may seek artifacts in support of upcoming exhibits, but these loans are for a limited time, no more than 12 months, and are based on our needs as determined by the curator.