Thank you for considering the Sooke Region Museum for your donation. We appreciate and value all donations that come through our door. However there are some guidelines we follow to best serve the Sooke Region. When bringing in a donation, it is important to know that it is under consideration. This is where we look at the item and factor in our considerations which include:
– The history behind the item(s)
– If we already have duplicates of the item(s)
– If we can properly store and care for the item(s)
– Condition of item(s)

We kindly ask that any items that were not used in the Sooke Region or do not have Sooke Region history attached to it not be brought in for a donation. With every donation, it takes our collections team 4-5 hours per item to process.


1. What is the Sooke Region?

The Sooke Region is known to be the region from East Sooke to Port Renfrew including the waters and lands between these points.

2. How do I know if I should donate an item?

Questions you can ask yourself when you are thinking of donating to the museum can be:
1. Does this object provide authentic evidence of the Sooke region’s history?
2. Is it rare or considered a treasure of the region?
3. How will it contribute to the story of our region?
In order to preserve and interpret history and advance our understanding of our region, we only accept objects that support this vision while factoring in our limited storage space at the museum.

3. What happens when I donate an item?

When you donate an item there is some paperwork which needs to be filled out. This is important since it documents who is bringing in an item and when it was brought in. In this step, it is important that we obtain a signature. Legally this transfers ownership of the item(s) over to the museum. The items then go through an adjudication process where we see how it will fit into our collection. We then let the donor know if the item has been accepted or rejected. If the item has been rejected, we will contact you and ask for you to come pick it up. If it has been accepted, it will follow our cataloging procedure.

Once accepted, we assign an accession number to the object in order to keep track of it in our database. We catalogue the item which includes describing the physical attributes of the item and photographing it. This information then gets put into a record on our database where we store all of our records. Physically, the item is moved into a permanent home in one of our storage facilities.

4. Will the item I donate go on display or in an exhibit?

We cannot make any guarantees about items going into our displays or exhibits. Whenever we design a new display or exhibit, we consider the thousands of items we have in the collection. Often we choose the items that best represent the history we are depicting. Every donation enriches our collection and furthers our knowledge on the Sooke Region.

5. What kind of things can I donate to the museum?

The Sooke Region Museum is able to accept any artifacts or archives of natural or human history. Our goal is to collect items to allow for a complete history of the Sooke Region. With that being said, there are some items we will not accept due to multiples already being in the collection.

6. How long does it take to donate an item?

It always depends on what you are bringing in. If you are donating one item, it should only take 10-15 minutes. Of course this can change if you bring in more or you have lots to say about the item.

7. Do I need to make an appointment?

Appointments are preferred but not necessary for all donations. For most single item donations, we will accept walk-ins. These are relatively easy to process with paperwork and don’t take too much time. If you are wanting to donate a large amount of items, an appointment must be made with our Collections Manager.

8. Does the museum ever refuse items?

Yes. The museum physically cannot take in every item which comes in. If we were to do so, we would run out of space. When you bring in an item to donate, you will not receive an answer right away as to if it’s accepted or been rejected. Mentioned earlier, there are many considerations that museum factors into a decision. If the museum decides to reject an item, it is most likely because it does not have significant Sooke or Sooke Region history attached; there is no space to store or we have multiples of it already. Of course there are exceptions to these and in our decision we will let you know why.

9. Can I make a loan to the museum?

We do not accept incoming permanent loans. We will occasionally loan out items to schools or institutions on a temporary basis. In any case, direct all concerns to our Collections Manager or Executive Director.

10. How do I bring in a donation?

Our preferred method is to drop it off in person at the museum during business hours. If you are unable to do so, we will accept via mail but that must be coordinated prior with the Collections Manager. Before sending anything via mail, the paperwork must be filled out.

If in person and depending on what the item is, the best way to bring in an item is in a plastic tote. We do not want cardboard boxes in with our collection items as it attracts pests which can do permanent damage. If it is a larger donation (one that would require multiple people or a trailer) we ask to coordinate with the Collections Manager.

The following list contains items which the museum has multiples of:

– Soldering Irons
– Any type of axes or saws
– Chains, hooks, ropes, nets
– Augers
– Pianos
– Axles, wheels, wheel rims
– Logging blocks, pulleys
– Whippletrees, horse tethers
– Any type of tin (tobacco, medicine, spice, food)
– Any type of bottle (pop, beer, wine, juice, medicine)
– Jars, glasses, dishes, cutlery
– Looms
– Glass insulators
– Doilies, tablecloths
– License plates
– Boxes, crates, trunks, suitcases (of any kind)
– Sewing machines, knitting/needlework supplies
– Phones
– Cameras
– Typewriters
– Radios
– Books (specifically school books, fiction/non-fiction books, bibles)

In most cases we will not accept these items, unless there is significant Sooke Region history attached to it.

Items we will outright refuse:
– Food and liquid items
– Firearms
– Human remains

The Sooke Region Museum staff reserve the right to refuse any donations they deem to pose a risk to the health and safety of everyone.

Any questions or concerns regarding donations and loans can be directed towards our Collections Manager at

Thank you for considering the Sooke Region Museum!