The Museum cares for over 12 million collection items built up over more than two centuries of collecting and we continue to welcome and value offers of donations to the collection. However we are unable to accept everything that is offered to us. We need to know more about the item(s) so that we can assess their suitability for the collection.
Our collecting decisions are influenced by various factors including:
If your donation is suitable for the collection, is in good condition with good title, we will accept it for the collection.
Please note we aim to respond to all offers within one month.
If your donation is accepted, it will be available for research, study and educational purposes. However please be aware that it may not be displayed for some time. Exhibitions and displays are carefully planned, often years in advance. Meanwhile, your donation will be carefully stored for study and research work and may be drawn upon for special exhibitions or lent to other institutions for exhibition.
In line with the ethical codes defined by International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Museums Association we cannot provide valuations for collection items.
While we do not offer a formal object identification service, our collections teams may be able to help identify objects which fall within our fields of expertise. Enquiries may be sent to the Departmental Administrator for the relevant curatorial department.
The Treasure Trove system in Scotland is provided by the Treasure Trove Unit (TTU) which operates as an independent unit. The TTU is responsible for the daily running of the Treasure Trove system and is the first port of call for new discoveries and finders.
Their contact details are:
Treasure Trove Unit
National Museums of Scotland
Edinburgh EH1 1JF
Phone numbers are 0131 247 4025 and 4082