Have questions about donating an artifact? Check out the FAQ below.
What does the San Diego History Center collect?

SDHC collects artifacts that tell the story of the San Diego region, from the early 18th century to the present day. Artifacts include 3D objects, photographs, ephemera, oral histories, film, historic clothing, books, maps, and much more.

Does SDHC provide appraisals or value estimates for artifacts?

No. SDHC policy states that no museum staff may appraise or provide value estimates for objects, or recommend an appraiser. To obtain an appraisal value for your materials, please contact the American Society of Appraisers.

Can SDHC provide advice on how to care for or clean an historic object?

Although SDHC staff cannot provide specific advice on how to care or clean for an object, here are some recommended resources:

American Institute for Conservation

Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute

Canadian Conservation Institute

Does SDHC provide conservation services?

SDHC does not provide conservation services.

For a directory of conservators, please visit the website for the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Can I bring my artifact to SDHC for donation?

People wishing to donate an artifact to SDHC must fill out the Donate an Artifact form. A Collections staff member will respond to your donation offer within 30 days.

Donate an Artifact Form

Do donated artifacts go on display immediately?

Unfortunately, SDHC cannot promise when an item will go on display. Only a small percentage of the museum’s entire collection is on view at any given time. While not on display, objects are cared for in storage, made available to researchers, and used for public programs at the museum.

Does SDHC accept loaned items rather than donated items?

While SDHC does use artifacts on short-term loan for special exhibitions, the museum does not accept long-term loans to the collection.

I’m still not sure if my object is right for SDHC. Should I still fill out the Donate an Artifact form?

Yes! Even if you are unsure, the Donate an Artifact form is a great way to get in contact with us and start the conversation.