Donating items to the Australian War Memorial
Are you thinking about donating items to our collection?
We have always relied on donations of objects that help explain the Australian experience of war. We assess offers of donations on a case by case basis. Please read our donation guidelines (below) before making your offer to us. Please do not send any unsolicited material to the Memorial.
Download and print a version of the form:
When you write, please describe the object or objects you would like to donate. The more information you can provide, the easier it is for us to assess what you are offering. Useful information includes:
- What is the history of the object or objects?
- Where was it made? Who made it? When was it made?
- Who owned it?
- Who used it? When was it used?
- Are there any stories about this object?
- Do you know any stories about the people connected to the object?
- What condition is the object in?
- If possible, please send a photograph of the object, ideally including a ruler or pen to give us a sense of scale.
To consider your donation completely, we need your full contact details. This information is used only in processing the donation. You can read our Privacy statement for more information about how we use personal information.
Please note that thanks to the generosity of the Australian public, we receive large numbers of donations, which can cause delays in processing donated material. All donation offers are placed in a queue. It could take months before we decide if we are able to accept a donation, and there is no guarantee that the Memorial will be able to do so.
Things to consider before offering to make a donation:
- If there are other family members whose wishes should be considered before proceeding with a donation, we strongly suggest you discuss the matter with them before offering material to the Memorial.
- A donation is finalised by the donor signing a Transfer of ownership agreement. This is a legal document, and once a donation is finalised, no item can be returned.
Things the Memorial does:
- We collect material from the colonial period to present conflicts and peacekeeping operations. This is described in our Collection Development Plan (PDF 1.3MB) and in how we manage donations.
- We will return to the donor items we do not accept into the collection. Please note that the Memorial is unable to dispose of any items we do not accept.
- If an object is not accepted into the National Collection, we will consider it for the Education, Prop or Reference collections.
- Where items are covered by copyright, the Memorial seeks that copyright; the transfer of copyright should be considered as part of the donation process. Usually we wish to examine the item or items before making a final decision.
- We can either post you a consignment note for a courier service paid for by the Memorial, or we can organise a time for you to deposit the collection at the Memorial in person.
- We will advise you of the item’s safe arrival, and as soon as practicable will send you an Interim receipt, which lists the material you have deposited with us.
The Memorial does not:
- Guarantee the display or digitisation of any item, but we are happy to arrange for donated material to be viewed by donors, their families and researchers, provided that sufficient prior notice is given.
- Provide valuations for items.
- Accept radioactive items or articles of live ammunition.
- Accept items on a “permanent loan” basis.
- Return items to donors once the Transfer of ownership agreement has been signed by the donor.
The Accessions Officer
Australian War Memorial
GPO Box 345
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: +61 (02) 6243 4590