How do I offer an object to the Brownsville Historical Association?
Please send a letter, e-mail, or our online donation offer link telling us about your object and whether you are offering it as a gift, for sale, or as a bequest. It will help us greatly if you can enclose photos or digital images. Please provide a description, including materials, date of manufacture and/or collection, and dimensions; verifiable record of authenticity and provenance (history of ownership); please include information about permits or other documentation demonstrating that the object was collected, transported, exported, imported, acquired, transferred, and possessed in compliance with all United States and foreign laws. This information can be sent to:
Brownsville Historical Association
1325 E. Washington Street
Brownsville, Texas 78520
How does the Museum decide which objects to accept for the collection?
All items offered for donation to Brownsville Historical Association must be approved by the Museum’s Collection Committee. This is a group of Museum staff and Board of Trustee’s who meet on a regular basis to review proposed additions to the Collection. The Collections Manager will present the proposed donation to the committee and the piece will be evaluated based on a number of criteria outlined in our Collections Management Policy. Of primary importance, all objects acquired by the Museum must fit within the scope of our Mission Statement. In addition, the following conditions must be met:
Can I send my object to the Museum now?
While the museum does not accept "unsolicited donations" or "drop-offs," we are happy to work with you to schedule time to evaluate your potential donation. In general, the best thing to do is to send an email, letter, or complete the online donation offer to the Collections Manager, along with photographs and descriptions of the offered material.
How is ownership transferred?
The legal mechanism for acquiring an object differs from case to case, depending on how the object is offered.
With a gift, as soon as the Museum has decided to accept the donor’s offer, the donor will be provided with two copies of our Deed of Gift for signature. One of these Deeds is to be returned to us; the other is to be kept for the donor’s own records. Arrangements will also be made for the object to arrive at the Museum, if this has not occurred previously. When Museum receives the completed Deed of Gift and the object is in our physical custody, the gift is completed.
With a sale, the object becomes the property of the Brownsville Historical Association once final payment is made. Payment will not be authorized until Museum receives the object in good condition.
Can I get a tax deduction for donating my collection?
The IRS allows individuals to take a tax deduction for items donated to charitable organizations. IRS Publication 561 will tell you about what they require and how you can go about using this tax benefit. If you are interested in the tax benefits of donating your art and artifacts, you should discuss this with a qualified tax specialist or attorney.
Can the Museum appraise my collection?
Federal law prevents the Museum from providing identification services or appraisal values for donated items. Contact the Collections Manager for a list of qualified appraisers. The Museum is in no way affiliated with these organizations.
I will make a gift only if I can set certain conditions for my object. Are you still interested?
Our practice and policy is to not accept gifts that come with strings attached. Conditions are often not in line with modern museum practices, may not reflect our constituencies’ expectations and needs, or are at odds with Museum guidelines.
© 2019 Brownsville Historical Association | 1325 E. Washington Street, Brownsville, Texas 78520 | 1 (956) 541-5560