Donating objects to our collection

Brixham Heritage Museum holds around eight thousand objects.

Our collection has been growing since 1958, but there are still gaps.

We welcome offers of items to our collection that have a strong connection to Brixham’s history, archaeology, natural history, art and culture.

If you think we may be interested in objects that belong to you, please email or write to us, providing the details set out below and providing images.

Please do not bring or send objects directly to the Museum as we will not accept them.

What to include in your email or letter:

  • A description of the object, including its size, condition and any signs of damage or deterioration
  • Who made or created the object, if relevant
  • The object’s history, who owned it, and any personal stories attached to it
  • Where you got the object from
  • Confirmation that you are the object’s legal owner and would be happy to transfer ownership permanently to Brixham Heritage Museum
  • Images of the object

How long does a decision take?

Offers are assessed by the curator on an ad-hoc basis, so please do not expect an immediate response if we have received a high number of offers. Once you get in touch, you will be contacted by the curator who may ask for some more specific details. They will also contact you again to let you know if your object can be accepted and when to bring it into the Museum.

If you believe a decision needs to be made urgently, please outline the reasons why in your email or letter and we will do everything we can to help.

How do we decide?

Offers are judged against our collection policy, which lays out the types of objects that we tend to accept, particularly material which:

  • Has a strong connection to Brixham
  • Is in good condition
  • Had good associated information about who made / used / owned the object(s)

We are offered many objects each year and unfortunately cannot take everything we are offered. This includes for the following reasons:

  • The museum already holds similar examples of the item in the collections
  • There is little associated information with the object
  • There is no link to Brixham
  • The item is in poor condition and would be difficult / too costly to conserve
  • The item contains hazardous materials

What happens if an object is accepted?

If your object is accepted into the collections, you will need to fill in and sign an Object Entry Form. This form makes sure that the ownership of the object is transferred from you to us. You will receive a copy of this for your records.

It is important to note that once you donate an object to our collections, the legal ownership of that object becomes ours and you will no longer own the object. We cannot take objects on long-term loans or with specific conditions attached, unless for a specific exhibition or display.

Like most museums we only have space to show a small percentage of our collection at any one time. If your object is accepted into the collections, we cannot guarantee that it will be put on display in the Museum. Many objects in our collections are kept in store and cared for to museum standards, ready to be used in future displays and accessible to researchers.