Contact the NMM
Persons wishing to donate objects and/or archival materials to the NMM should submit a letter of intent to the NMM at the address listed on the contact page. This letter should include a description of the instrument(s) or archival material (including any specific details that may apply such as maker's/manufacturers' names, city of manufacture, model numbers, serial numbers, condition, quantity, and so on) as well as photographs. A description of the previous use and ownership of the instrument(s) and/or archival materials is also requested. The NMM staff requests that potential donors submit this information and wait for confirmation before shipping or bringing items in for possible donation.
The NMM Staff Will Decide Whether or Not to Accept the Gift
Based on the information contained in the donor's letter, the NMM staff will make a preliminary assessment of the gift's relevance to the NMM's mission and contact the donor with further instructions. The NMM reserves the right to accept or refuse donations upon actual receipt and examination of the item(s).
Obtain a Third Party Appraisal
National Music Museum is a 501(c)3 charitable cultural and educational organization, and all non-cash donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Upon receipt of a non-cash gift, the NMM will issue a Deed of Gift to be signed by the donor, but cannot issue a formal appraisal suitable for IRS purposes. Potential donors should obtain a third-party appraisal of items to be gifted to the NMM, prior to their donation. For further details concerning the tax laws governing the donation of property, potential donors should consult the IRS website and/or publications 561 ("Determining the Value of Donated Property") and 526 ("Charitable Contributions").
When the Gift is Accepted
Upon the receipt, final acceptance, and cataloging of donated items, the NMM will issue the donor two copies of a Deed of Gift, one copy of which is to be signed and returned to the NMM. The second copy should be retained by the donor as proof of the donation.
Below is an example of how a typical gift to the NMM is recognized in NMM checklists, labels, and other printed materials.
NMM 2673. Square piano by William Knabe and Co., Baltimore, 1891. Gift of Max Siler Wehrly,1980, in memory of his mother, Maude Siler Wehrly (1877-1955).
NMM's Accessions Policy
In order to maintain the integrity of the NMM's collections and archives, the following guidelines have been established for the acquisition of musical instruments and archival materials for the NMM.
Objects shall not be accepted or otherwise acquired for the NMM's collections unless the following conditions are met:
- All acquisitions must be obtained in an ethical manner consistent with the NMM’s Code of Ethics.
- The acquisition of the object or collection of objects furthers the mission and activities of the NMM, as stated in the Mission Statement, found on page 3 of the NMM's Collections Management Policy.
- The NMM can provide adequate storage, protection, and preservation for the objects under conditions that ensure their availability for NMM purposes.
- The objects shall have permanency in the collections as long as they retain their physical integrity, their identity, and their authenticity, and as long as they remain useful for the purposes of the NMM.
- Objects added to the NMM’s collections will come to the NMM with free and clear title, with the exception of partial gifts.
- The NMM shall not knowingly acquire an object that has been exported from its country of origin in violation of that country's laws or of the ethical guidelines defined by the 1970 UNESCO Convention, as recommended by the American Alliance of Museums; or has been collected in violation of federal or state antiquity laws.
- Objects must be in a condition that does not require significant expense for treatment in order to consolidate and conserve them or make them relevant or useful unless funding for such purposes is provided by the donor or unless the curatorial team deems the objects to have historical significance.
- The object does not duplicate objects already in the NMM’s collections, unless the acquisition is intended to replace an object in poor condition or has a significant or compelling provenance that sets it apart from similar objects.
- The purchase price, if any, is consistent with or lower than current market values.
For additional information concerning the NMM's Collections Management policies relating to non-cash gifts, bequests, promised gifts, and purchases, link here to review the NMM's Collections Management Policy and Code of Ethics.