Offers of Material to the Collection

Offer of Material to Collections

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) has a vast collection across our sites. However, we are always looking for objects and archives to fill gaps in the material we display and use for research purposes. Therefore we will always consider donations offered to us, to see how they could potentially be utilised in our galleries or for research or engagement.


What the NMRN collects

The NMRN collects material primarily based on our Master Narrative. This document dictates the stories that we tell and guides our future collecting. Some of the reasons an offer is accepted include:

  • Strong story and provenance
  • Unique example

Some reasons an offer may be rejected include:

  • Does not fit into our master narrative
  • No guarantee of ownership or material offered on long-term loan
  • We already have an example in the collection
  • Limited or no background information
  • No specialist expertise to care for the object (eg Natural History material)

The NMRN are unable to accept hazardous objects or substances, unless under exceptional circumstances. This includes:

  • Firearms
  • Explosive objects
  • Flammable material
  • Objects containing asbestos
  • Radioactive material
  • Poisonous or potentially carcinogenic substances

If your donation is accepted, the NMRN will endeavour to actively use the object. This could be in a variety of ways such as a physical display, virtual display in online collections, academic research and as reference material. In addition, it may be the case that the material does not fit into our accessioned collections, but may be useful for another reason, such as handling collections used in our learning sessions or as open display material for events. In this case, we would need to obtain the permission of the donor to accept the objects for these circumstances.


How to offer a donation

To offer an object or objects for donation, you will need to complete a Donation Enquiry Form.

Once completed please email the form and photographs to Donations offered are considered by our Acquisitions Panel that meets regularly. However, do understand that there may be a delay before we are able to reply to your offer, depending on when the next Panel is due.

Unfortunately, we are unable to consider material for donation left at our sites without a prior appointment. Please only bring objects to our sites if you have been specifically asked to do so by one of our Curators. The NMRN are also unable to undertake valuations of objects.

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