Frequently Asked Questions

What happens to items not accepted?

  • Any items not accepted will be returned to the donor. The Memorial is unable to dispose of any items on the donor’s behalf.

What happens to the material I donate?

  • Items accepted into the National Collection will be assessed and housed in specialist, secure storage, in accordance with the Memorial's collection documentation and preservation policies.
  • Please do not post items to the Memorial without contacting us first, as we cannot accept responsibility for this material.
  • Donors and their families are welcome to visit to view donated items. We ask for two weeks’ notice of intended visits to allow for items in off-site storage to be transported, to ensure that items are not undergoing conservation work during visits, and to ensure that staff members are available. Please contact us to make an appointment to view items.

How can I get my memorabilia to the Memorial?

  • We encourage all donors to contact us and make an appointment before arriving at the Memorial with material to donate. Our offer of donation form can be found here. To ensure we are able to meet with you, at least two weeks’ notice is required.
  • Please do not post items to the Memorial without contacting us first, as we cannot accept responsibility for this material.
  • The Memorial reserves the right to return any unsolicited donations without first receiving an offer of donation form.
  • If you have offered material for donation, our staff will be in touch with you to discuss the transport options available. Methods can vary based on the items being donated, and the location of the items.

Can I visit the Memorial and meet with someone to discuss my donation?

  • Owing to the number of enquiries we receive, we cannot guarantee that staff will be available to meet with visitors who arrive without an appointment.
  • We ask all donors to submit an offer of donation form before visiting the Memorial.  You may also contact us and make an appointment before arriving at the Memorial with material to donate. To ensure we are able to meet with you, at least two weeks’ notice is required.
  • Our staff are available to meet donors Monday to Friday, between 9.30 am and 4.00 pm; staff are not available on weekends, public holidays, or between 24 December and 4 January.

Will my donation go on display?

  • We cannot guarantee that donated items will be exhibited at the Memorial. The Memorial’s collection is vast, and only approximately three per cent is on display at any one time.

Can I offer items as a loan?

  • In some cases we borrow items for a defined period, however we are not able to accept items on a permanent loan basis.

I think my relative donated material to the Memorial in the past. How can I find out about this?

  • Please contact us regarding the donation. We will need to know what you the items are, who they relate to, the full name of the donor, and when they were donated.

Can I have copies of the items I’ve donated?

  • Information about how to order copies of photographs, film, sound, works of art, and photographs of objects in the collection can be found on our website. If you have any questions about the ordering process please contact the eSales Unit.
  • If you would like to purchase copies of private records, official records, or published collections, please read the information about the Research Centre’s copying services. If you have any questions about the ordering process please contact the Research Centre.

How can I get captions on the website updated?

How do I look after my memorabilia?

Can I borrow items from the Memorial’s collection?

Can I bequest my memorabilia to the Memorial?

  • You may wish to leave significant items or funds to the Australian War Memorial in your will. In some cases, the federal government also offers taxation benefits to your estate. Information about bequests.

Can the Memorial provide a valuation for my items?

  • The Australian War Memorial cannot provide valuations of your items.
  • Depending on the type of item, you could check online auction sites, contact your local auction house, antique or militaria dealer, or an independent valuer.
  • A list of valuers is available for download as part of the federal government’s Cultural Gifts Program, which provides tax incentives for donations of culturally significant items from private collections to public institutions.

Does the Memorial buy items?

  • The Memorial does sometimes purchase material for the collection and the same assessment criteria apply as to donations.
  • The Memorial has limited acquisition funds. For a purchase to proceed the item must be a significant addition to the collection which is supported by our Collection Development Plan.
  • If you wish to sell material which you believe may be of interest to the Memorial, please contact us and we will contact the relevant curator.
  • Please note we reserve the right not to respond to requests that the Memorial bid for items on online auction sites, nor provide advice regarding buying and selling of items.

I found some medals and want to reunite them with the family. What can I do?

How do you decide what to collect?

  • The Memorial has a comprehensive Collection Development Plan that indicates the Memorial’s collecting aims and priorities, organised by conflict. 

What is copyright, and how does it affect my donation?