Donating Artifacts or Photos

Should I donate?

Donating Artifacts or Photos

If you are thinking about donating artifactual or archival material to the Sooke Region Museum, consider these questions:

Does this object provide authentic evidence of the Sooke region’s history? Is it rare or considered a treasure of the region? How will it contribute to the story of our region? 

In order to preserve and interpret history and advance our understandings of our region, we only accept objects that support this vision.

How do I donate to the museum?

Please send a short description with pictures and dimensions of the material to the Collections Manager, at or call our office at 250 642 6351 to describe the item.

Upon acceptance, we will receive the artifact in 2 ways:

In person: Bring the material you would like to donate into the museum. We are located at 2070 Phillips Road, Sooke, B.C. V9Z 0Y3. This is best done by appointment. We do not accept donations outside of office hours.
To make an appointment with the Collections Manager, email or call our office at 250 642 6351.

By mail: You may also mail material to:
Attn: Collections Manager, Sooke Region Museum, Box 774, Sooke, B.C. V9Z 1H7.
*If you choose this option, please fill out and sign an Artifact Donation Gift Form and an Artifact Donation Temporary Receipt and send them with the item. Please answer the questions on page 2 of the temporary receipt. 

Please note that photographs have separate donation forms:

Photo Donation Gift Form,

Photo Donation Temporary Receipt

*For help filling out any of these forms, please refer to the completed sample forms linked at the bottom of this page.

When an artifact is offered to our Museum, we consider its historical significance, aesthetics, and condition. It may be suitable for a particular exhibit or be used for research purposes. We also have a prop collection where items may be used for educational or event purposes.

We require donors to provide as much documentation about history, authenticity and ownership as possible, to build provenance, or context, for the artifact. The Collections Manager or Executive Director typically makes an immediate decision as to whether we will accept or deny a donation. However, we may need to research and verify an object’s authenticity before it is accepted.

We cannot guarantee that an artifact will be displayed after acceptance, but we try our best to give items in our collection display time.

What happens after donation?

After a donation is accepted, we begin the process of accessioning the artifact. Following the approval of a new donation, legal and physical custody will be transferred to the museum. Legally, we are required to obtain a signed gift form from the donor.

At this time, an accession number will be given to the object. This is a two part number that shows the year and the collection number. When one or more objects are donated to the museum they are referred to as a collection. For example, if your accession number reads, “2015.005” this means your collection, or object(s), was the fifth to be donated in 2015.

Next, the artifact is described, a process called “cataloguing”. At this stage, extensive documentation is mandatory. All details about the object will be documented including its’history, appearance, purpose, condition and provenance. Photographs are taken and an identification number (or an object ID) is applied to the object. The identification number is three parts and includes the accession number. For example, a basic identification number could read as, “2015.005.002.” The “002” means that this particular object is the second article in the fifth collection donated in 2015. 

Following documentation, all data is entered into our computer database called Past Perfect. Afterwards, the object is moved into a display or storage. At this museum, the collections manager is responsible for the above duties. However, at other institutions these tasks may be performed by someone called the Registrar. 

Thank you for your interest in donating to the Sooke Region Museum.