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Stories at the heart of our history

Thanks for your interest in donating to the National Museum of Australia. It is with your support that we continue to tell the stories at the heart of Australia’s history.

You can help build our national collection in two ways.

Make a financial donation

Donations to the National Museum of Australia Fund are tax-deductible. The fund supports collection conservation, education and exhibitions.

Donate now

Make a collection offer

The Museum collects objects that are linked to key moments, people and places in Australia’s history, based on our three themes.

We also need to know about an object’s provenance  who made or used the object and who has owned it over the years.

Please read our frequently asked questions before making an offer.

Complete the pdfcollection offer form (PDF 37 kb)

Please provide as much information as possible and a photograph. Scan and email your completed form to or print and mail it to Duty Curator, GPO Box 1901, Canberra, ACT 2601.

Frequently asked questions

How does the Museum decide what to collect?

We have a Collections development policy and consider whether an object:

  • relates to themes, issues or people of national significance
  • assists in understanding and interpreting Australian history and culture.

We also take into account whether the object is:

  • a particularly good example of its type or not well-represented in other museum collections
  • in a suitable condition for long-term storage or display
  • well provenanced, with good information about its history and owners.

I’m cleaning out my shed and found some old things the Museum might like. Are you interested?

We receive many generous offers and have strict guidelines for acquiring objects. We’re most interested in the stories associated with objects – connections to places, people and defining moments in our history. Please contact us if your object tells a strong story.

How do I find out what is already in the Museum’s collection?

Our online Collection Explorer lists more than 70,000 of the objects in our collection. We add more each month.

Our annual report lists objects recently added to our collection. View our 2014–15 acquisitions

Can I send in or bring my object at the Museum?

No. Please do not send or bring objects to the Museum. If we are considering an offer and need to see an object, a curator will be in touch. If you are interested in making a collection offer, please complete and submit the pdfcollection offer form (PDF 37 kb).

What happens if I make an offer to the Museum?

The Museum only collects a small number of the objects offered. We will contact you once we receive a collection offer form, usually within two weeks. Our Acquisitions and Collections Group will then formally consider your offer and we will let you know the result.

Does the Museum provide valuations?

No. We do not provide valuations or authentications.

The Australian Government’s Ministry for the Arts maintains a list of approved valuers for its Cultural Gifts Program. You could also consult the Auctioneers and Valuers Association of Australia.

I have an object similar to one in the Museum’s collection. What can you tell me about it?

While we can provide more information about the objects in our Collection Explorer, we cannot conduct research on your behalf.

Please send your query about our collection via our Collection Explorer feedback page.

Contact us


Postal address
Duty Curator
National Museum of Australia
GPO Box 1901
Canberra ACT 2601

Send queries about the Museum’s collection via Collection Explorer feedback