Donate an object

Contribute to our collection

We’d love to hear from you if you have an item that you think might be perfect for our collections. We’re very grateful for all the offers we receive, as you are helping us preserve and celebrate the Black Country. Find out what we can and cannot accept below.

Every item offered is considered carefully by our Collections team in relation to our collecting policy and existing collections. We will contact you to either accept or decline your offer, but please don’t bring anything into the Museum or send it by post without arranging with us first.

We are collecting objects with a strong connection to the Black Country, particularly items that:

  • Are in good condition.
  • Add to our knowledge.
  • Have good associated information.
  • Link with Black Country individuals or events.

It is not always possible for us to accept everything offered for the following reasons:

  • We already hold similar examples of the item in the collection.
  • The item is more appropriate to a different museum.
  • There is little associated information with it or no link to the Black Country.
  • The item is in poor condition or contains hazardous material and therefore would be difficult to preserve. Hazardous items include firearms, objects containing asbestos, and explosive, flammable, poisonous, potentially carcinogenic or radioactive material.
  • The item does not fall within our collecting remit.
  • We don’t usually accept items on long-term loan.
  • We can’t accept items with specific conditions attached.
  • Your item may be more useful as part of our handling collection. In this case, we’ll ask your permission to add it to this valuable resource.
  • Please note items we cannot guarantee that the donated item(s) will be permanently displayed on site.
  • Handling objects are used as part of demonstrations and activities on site, therefore there is a chance that they could become lost/damaged but we do what we can to mitigate against this.
  • You will be required to sign an object entry form which will be a legal transfer of title if we agree to accept your donation.
  • Please do not send anything in without confirmation from us and don’t bring anything to the museum without an appointment with our collections team.
  • We cannot accept walk-in donations and do not wish you to have a wasted journey.
  • Any unsolicited donations will be disposed of.

Who to contact

If you are considering offering an item to the collection, please contact the collections team by email or post:

Post: Collections team, Black Country Living Museum, Tipton Road, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4SQ.

Email: [email protected]

Please provide the following information in your correspondence:

  • A photograph of the object
  • Measurements for any larger items
  • Date of the object
  • Background information – brief summary of any personal stories and how the object relates to our current collections or the history of the Black Country