artifact donation

HCH Acquisition Policy

The Holocaust Center for Humanity in Seattle gratefully accepts photographs, documents, correspondence, textiles, ceremonial objects, personal testimonies, and oral histories in support of its mission to teach tolerance and understanding through the lessons of the Holocaust in schools and communities throughout the region. The Center does not accept artifacts that it cannot reasonably expect to use in accordance with that mission now or in the future. Although an item may indeed be associated with the Holocaust, the Center accepts only those items that it believes will help fulfill its mission.

To maximally benefit its mission and ensure proper care of its artifacts, donations to the Center must meet the following acquisition guidelines:

1. All item(s) must be consistent with and relevant to the stated purpose, scope, and activities of the Center.

2. The Center must be able to provide proper care and storage for accepted artifacts. Item(s) will not be accepted if future care and preservation needs exceed the Center's resources. Donations that include financial support for long-term storage and preservation are welcomed.

3. Items must have clear provenance and be free of copyright restrictions, unless expressly discussed and specifically approved by a committee of the Center's Board of Directors.

4. All donations must be outright and unconditional and are irrevocable upon formal and physical transfer to the Center.

5. All acquisitions by gift or bequest to the Center will remain in possession of the Center for as long as they retain their physical integrity and authenticity, and as long as they remain useful to the mission of the Center.

Additional information for potential donors:

1. The Center does not purchase historic materials but donations are fully tax deductible within IRS guidelines. Donors are responsible for obtaining appraisals of value for the artifacts they donate as the Internal Revenue Service considers such activity by a 501c(3) a conflict of interest. Please consult your tax advisor.

2. The Center cannot guarantee that items donated will be placed on exhibition, or that they will be exhibited or stored intact as a single collection. In addition, acquisitions or facsimiles of acquisitions may be used in our education program in accordance with our mission. Donors and their families are welcome, with an appointment, to view their donations.

3. The Center accepts loan materials on a case-by-case basis. Long-term loans are preferred. The Center may accept some loans on a short-term basis in conjunction with exhibitions and its educational programs but prefers to commit its resources to the storage and preservation of materials in its collection. All loans will be subject to discussion and approval by a committee of the Center's Board of Directors.

4. The Center may, with the approval from its Board of Directors, remove items from its collection through a process called deaccessioning. Items that are damaged beyond repair, have a condition that puts other parts of the collection at risk, are duplicative of other items in the collection, or are subsequently deemed to be outside the scope of the Center's mission may be considered for deaccessioning. Deaccessioned items may be donated to another museum or cultural or educational organization, destroyed, or sold.

5. The Center does not accept military weaponry nor propaganda that extols the Nazi party. It collects Nazi propaganda only if it relates to the Center's mission with a clear and exceptional contribution to the narrative of a local Holocaust story. The interpretation of this is up to Center staff and this policy is subject to change.

To donate an artifact to the Center, please submit a completed donation form online by clicking NEXT at the bottom of this page, or download a copy of the form and submit it by regular mail. If you are unable to access the form online, please call the Center at 206-582-3000 and request that a copy be mailed to you. You may mail back your completed form to:

Holocaust Center for Humanity
2045 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98121

Please do not submit donations until you are contacted by a member of the Center staff. Once a donation is accepted, the Center will send you a document called a Deed of Gift. This legal document states that you are legally and permanently donating the listed items to the Center. Collections cannot be made available for exhibition, teaching or research until that document has been signed by the donor and returned to the Center.

If you are unable to deliver items which have been accepted for donation to the Center, please contact us and appropriate arrangements will be made.