Donating Items to the B&O Railroad Museum’s Collection
The B&O Railroad Museum welcomes donations and accepts material that relates directly to its mission. Interested donors are encouraged to contact appropriate collections staff to discuss their items proposed for donation to the Museum’s permanent collections. Upon initial assessment, collection’s staff will indicate whether there is an interest to receive the items offered for donation. Questions concerning donations and the donation process should be directed to the Curator of Archives and Small Objects.
Unfortunately, the museum receives many requests for donations and can not accept all items offered. Reasons for not accepting a donation include relevance to mission, duplication of existing items in collection, physical space constraints, provenance, condition, or restrictions on a donation such as requiring an item be displayed.
Financial donations of cash, securities, wills and estate planning are also accepted, please Click Here for more information on how to do so.
An appointment with collection’s staff must be made to drop off and transfer donations to the Museum’s custody. The Museum’s collection staff is the only staff authorized to accept donations and potential donors MUST make an appointment with Collections staff PRIOR to dropping off materials.
Once the item(s) have been received, staff prepares a basic inventory and a standard Deed of Gift form, both of which are sent to the donor for review and signature. Many donors can expedite the process by providing an inventory or itemized listing of their donated items. Staff provides and asks the donor to sign two copies of the final Deed of Gift. One copy is for the donor’s records, the second is returned to the Museum’s collections staff. Upon return of the signed form, the donated item(s) move from pending acquisition status to that of donated objects or materials. Once donated, items become part of the Museum’s permanent collections and are treated accordingly.
Appraisals and Value
Donations to the Museum are tax deductible, to the full extent allowed by law, for both federal and State of Maryland income tax purposes. A formal appraisal of a donation is the responsibility of the donor because the IRS does not permit the receiving institution to appraise donated objects and the Museum staff cannot offer tax advice. It is the responsibility of donors to confer with their tax advisors regarding the tax benefits, details, and implications of donations. Once donated, items become part of the Museum’s permanent collections and are treated accordingly.
Who to Contact