Adopt an Artifact
With more than 40,000 objects in the History Center’s permanent collection, caring for Tampa Bay’s material culture is an important part of our mission.
Now, the History Center’s new "Adopt an Artifact" program lets you lend a helping hand.
Each quarter, our curatorial department will place six artifacts in need of conservation in a pull-out display case located in the History Center’s second floor gallery.
The six objects currently in need of conservation include:
- 42-star U.S. flag that may have flown over the Hillsborough County Courthouse in 1891
- 45-star U.S. flag circa 1896-1906
- WW I Private’s uniform
- WWII-era Army Air Corps jacket
- Seminole Indian longshirt
- Portrait of former Tampa mayor Perry G. Wall
Adopting an artifact will help underwrite its restoration and long-term care. Your contribution will help fund a conservation assessment, establishing a plan for any needed repairs or stabilization. Donors will receive recognition any time the object is displayed.
For information on how you can adopt an artifact, contact our Saunders Foundation Curator of History, Rodney Kite-Powell at (813) 675-8984.
Donating Your Artifact or Document
Thank you for your interest in donating to the Tampa Bay History Center Collection. Every year, new artifacts and documents are added to the collection through the generosity of individuals and corporations as well as transfers from other institutions. These donations help us fulfill our mission as interpreters of the region's history.
How Can I Donate an Artifact to the Museum?
Over the years the Tampa Bay History Center has acquired approximately 85% of its artifact collection through public donations. The curatorial staff supervises the acquisition of artifacts. A wish list of objects the museum is seeking to acquire may appear on this web site.
If you have artifacts or documents that you believe would complement the museum’s collection, please contact the History Center’s Saunders Foundation Curator of History, Rodney Kite-Powell, email@example.com. Artifacts cannot be accepted without an appointment.
The staff will determine whether the object meets the museum’s board approved collecting criteria. In evaluating the object for acceptance into the collection, the Curator will consider the following questions:
• Was the object made or used in the Tampa Bay region or state of Florida?
• What is the object’s historical significance?
• Is there documentation (written or oral) on the object?
• Does the object need conservation work?
• Does the object duplicate or support the existing collection?
• What is the object’s exhibit potential?
• What is the object’s educational potential?
• What impact would the object have on available storage space?
If the object meets the criteria, the Curator will present it to the Collections and Education Committee. After examining the object, the committee will vote on whether to accept the item(s). You will be notified, in writing, of the Committee’s decision. If the object is accepted, the registrar will send you a deed of gift form. This legal document certifies that the object is yours to donate and that you agree to assign all rights associated with the object to the History Center. When you sign and return the deed of gift, the object becomes part of the collection of the Tampa Bay History Center.
Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes. The Tampa Bay History Center is recognized as a qualified charitable organization, thus the fair market value of your donated materials is generally tax deductible. To take advantage of your deduction, you must file tax form 1040 and, depending on the value of your donation, tax form 8283. It is recommended that you consult with your own accountant, attorney, or the IRS.
Can the History Center appraise objects?
No. Although the Tampa Bay History Center welcomes artifact donations, it does not provide authentication and appraisal services.
An object’s value can often be determined by consulting one of the many price guides available in libraries and bookstores. If you wish to obtain a formal, written appraisal of an object (for which you may be charged a fee), please consult the following professional associations to find an accredited appraiser in your area.
American Society of Appraisers, http://www.appraisers.org
Appraisers Association of America, http://www.appraiserassoc.org
Will my artifacts or documents be used in an exhibit?
The History Center cannot guarantee that any donated objects will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose. Only a small fraction of the collection is on view at any given time. However, we do allocate a significant portion of our annual budget to maintaining optimal conditions in our storage areas and galleries to insure the long-term preservation of all collection materials.
Collections Wish List
• Materials from the 1960s political protest and other forms of activism in Tampa and Florida. The Museum is particularly interested in acquiring signage, pamphlets, and other ephemera related to the Civil Rights Movement, anti-war protests, and local community events of the era.
• Materials documenting the region's film and television industries, including posters and other promotional material related to films made in the area.