Donations to the Collection

The Nanaimo Museum collects artifacts that can tell a significant story about people in Nanaimo, their cultures, history and lifestyles.  We must be selective about adding to the collection due to storage constraints and want to ensure that everything we collect is of high quality and fits within our mandate.  All artifacts that come into the collection must be in good condition and be appropriate for the museum to care for and store.

To discuss a possible donation, please contact Aimee Greenaway, Curator at or 250 753-1821.  Please be prepared to forward photos of the objects to the museum and provide information about its history, strong connection to Nanaimo and any past owners.  Please do not bring objects to the museum.


Make a Donation

Donations can be made in person or online via the link below:

Frequently Asked Questions

May I drop off my objects off at the museum?
Unfortunately we cannot accept any objects that are dropped off at the museum.  All potential acquisitions must go through an extensive research and verification process while we consult our collections policy to see if it fits with our collection.  Temporarily storing objects creates issues regarding ownership and insurance coverage.  Photographs of the objects usually provide enough information so that we don’t need to store them here while awaiting a decision.
Does the museum issue tax receipts for objects?
The Nanaimo Museum is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency and is authorized to issues receipts for income tax purposes.  Artifacts worth $1,000 or more are required to be appraised by a qualified appraiser.  High-value artifacts may require multiple appraisals.  The cost of appraisals is the responsibility of the donor.
My object has been in my parents’ garage in Nanaimo for the last 30 years.  Is this enough of a Nanaimo story?
No, this is a weak link to Nanaimo’s history.  Here is an example of a significant story:  A nurse’s lapel pin owned by Anna Fong Dickman was donated in 2014.  The Dickman family lived in Nanaimo’s Chinatown from 1898-1906.  Anna grew up in Vancouver, but attended nurses training at the Nanaimo General Hospital and was part of the last graduating class in 1926.  She worked at the Nanaimo Hospital and five years later became the first Chinese Canadian Registered Nurse in British Columbia.
My object has an incredible story, but it belonged to my grandmother on the Prairies.  Does the museum want it for the collection?
We only collect artifacts from Nanaimo.  You may want to consider contacting a museum in your grandmother’s home town to see if they are interested.
Will the museum display the object if I donate it?
We have less than 10% of our artifacts on exhibit, which is common in museums.  We are not able to guarantee if or when we will exhibit artifacts.  Part of the museum’s role is preserving artifacts for future generations.
Will the museum put a plaque on the object that has my relative’s name on it?
We do not permanently affix signs or plaques to objects because it is distracting to visitors who are viewing them on exhibit.  The museum staff will record your relative’s connection to the artifact in its file so that the information is retained.  If the artifact goes on exhibit, your relative’s name may be included in an artifact label if that story is relevant to the exhibit.  Artifacts that have been symbolically adopted under the Adopt an Artifact fundraising programs have the name of the “Adopter” on the exhibit label.  If you are interesting in “adopting” the artifact you wish to donate, please mention this to the curator when you start the artifact donation process.