Artifact Donation Frequently Asked Questions

Artifact Donation

Thank you for considering a donation to the Museum of Idaho! The collections at the Museum are committed to collecting and preserving the history of our region.  Thanks to the generosity of our community we have more than 23,000 artifacts relating to the cultural and natural history of Idaho.

There are a lot of questions regarding the Museum’s collections, so hopefully we can answer them here!

What Does the Museum of Idaho Collect?

Generally artifacts that have a strong and unique connection to Idaho history, particularly eastern Idaho, are good candidates for the museum’s collection. This includes natural history specimens.

The more you know about the artifact, the better. The history of artifacts is extremely important to the collections department. While occasional anonymous artifacts may be kept (i.e. a typewriter bought at a garage sale), items without a known history are often not accepted.

Because of limited storage space we are unable to accept everything that is offered.

How do I Donate an Artifact?

Please contact the museum curator Claire Smith at (208) 522-1400, ext. 3018, or at to discuss potential donations and prior to bringing anything to the Museum.  Please do not leave artifacts at the Museum.  Artifacts left anonymously are considered abandoned property and will be taken care of at the discretion of Collections staff.

Will My Artifact be Displayed?

Objects donated will not necessarily be displayed. Only a very small portion of our collection is on display at a given time.  The Collections staff is dedicated to preserving the artifacts in storage, ensuring that they are available for many years to come.

Are Objects Donated to the Museum Tax-Deductible?

Yes. The Museum of Idaho is a recognized 501(c)3 organization and the fair market value of an object is eligible for tax deduction.  Please consult the Internal Revenue Service and/or your accountant regarding the donation.

Will the Museum Appraise the Value of my Artifact/Collection?

No. The Museum of Idaho is not allowed to offer appraisals, as the IRS considers 501(c)3 organizations interested parties.  The following associations may be helpful in locating an appraiser who will estimate the value of your artifact:

American Society of Appraisers

Appraisers Association

Does the Museum Purchase Artifacts?

No. Due to a limited budget the Museum is unable to purchase artifacts.


Contact Museum Curator, Claire Smith with questions regarding the Collections at the Museum of Idaho

(208) 522-1400, ext 3018