Donating Artifacts

Guelph Museums collects objects, photographs, printed, audio-visual and digital material pertaining to the history and story of Guelph. The collection is for the purpose of documentation, preservation, research, exhibition, and interpretation for all members of our community.

Guelph Museums strives to acquire artifacts and archival records that generally are complete and in good condition and for which a history of use and ownership is well documented. We are keenly interested in the story behind an item and how that story can help visitors better understand the past.

Guelph Civic Museum donations

Collecting Moratorium (with the exception of McCrae House and Rapid Response Collecting, see below)

A temporary moratorium has been implemented on donations to the Guelph Civic Museum collection. This will allow us to improve accessibility, strengthen existing resources, and assess current and future needs of the collection.

A collecting moratorium is a temporary period during which the museum will stop accepting items for the collection. This moratorium at the Guelph Civic Museum is effective December 1, 2019. During this period, we will not accept unsolicited artifacts into the Museum.

While we are not currently accepting artifact donations, we would like to know about the objects or archival documents you are considering for donation. Please complete the Guelph Civic Museum Collecting Moratorium Form (PDF) and we will follow up with you once the moratorium is lifted.

If you have any questions, please contact the Curatorial team at [email protected] or Luke Stempien, Collections & Research Coordinator at 519-822-1260 ext. 2776.

McCrae House donations

McCrae House collects artifacts, documents and photographs owned and used by John McCrae or items that pertain to his life. It also collects artifacts linked to the McCrae family. McCrae House is also interested in acquiring objects related to the First World War and the Boer War. The museum considers artifacts pertaining to McCrae House itself or artifacts pertaining to the Lt. Col. McCrae Birthplace Society.

McCrae House is currently considering all donations. If you have an object or archival item that you would like to donate, please contact the Curatorial team at [email protected] or Dawn Owen, Curator at 519-822-1260 ext. 2774.

Please contact our team prior to an in-person visit to the museum to ensure staff are available to meet with you.

Rapid Response Collecting

Guelph Museums has two initiatives in place to collect material related to current issues with historic significance. These programs have been hugely successful and the museum has received a high volume of submissions. Our team is now busy cataloging and digitizing the donations. The Rapid Response Collecting portals will remain open; however, submissions received after October 1, 2020 will be kept on file and reviewed by our Acquisitions Committee in March 2021.

To contribute material related the the COVID-19 pandemic, follow this link: Rapid Response Collecting form: COVID-19

To contribute material related to local initiatives in solidarity with Black Lives Matter, follow this link: Rapid Response Collecting form: Black Lives Matter

Cooperation with other local and regional museums, galleries and archives

When considering an artifact, Guelph Museums consults with other local collections. We may recommend that an artifact should be offered to the Art Gallery of Guelph, Guelph Public Library Archives, University of Guelph Archival and Special Collections, or the Ontario Veterinary College.

Regionally the museum often connects potential donors with the Wellington County Museum & Archives, which tells the story of the townships and towns that surround the City of Guelph.

Some items do not tell a Guelph story. The museum encourages potential donors to connect with other local museums, archives, galleries and cultural heritage organizations where the item is most valued by the local community.

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