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Curator Donation Page Banner

Curator Branch: Donation Requirements and Procedures


Thank you for offering to donate your Navy-related memorabilia to the Curator Branch of the Naval History and Heritage Command (NHHC). The Curator Branch collects a variety of objects and materials that are primarily three-dimensional objects relating to the U.S. Navy with specific emphasis on ships, aviation, places, wars/events, activities, and significant individuals associated with naval history. As one of the most significant maritime and naval artifact collections, it reflects both official and unofficial naval viewpoints and consists of donations and transfers to include objects from decommissioned ships made by both the Navy and the public. The collection includes material from Navy ships such as bells, builder’s plaques, and flags, personal effects including uniforms and medals and awards, small arms and ordnance, small craft, and other objects related to Navy missions. Our goal is to have a collection that reflects the wide-ranging and diverse face of the Navy, whether it be during war or peacetime.


Objects accepted for acquisition/donation must conform to the following criteria:

  • be of a subject matter with specific naval historic, exhibition or research value, such as identifiable ships, aircraft, places, events, individuals, and activities

  • how the proposed donation relates to the existing historical collections; the future development of those collections for exhibit, educational, and public research needs; the NHHC’s artifact collections nationwide and other NHHC museums that specialize in a subject
  • not be damaged beyond reasonable repair or pose any conservation threat to the collection

  • the Curator Branch will not accept donations by which the donor places restrictions on their use by the public.


Steps to donate your objects to the Curator Branch:

  • Download and complete the Artifact Donation Proposal Worksheet for all artifacts except ship models.

  • For proposed donations of ship models, download and complete the Ship Model Donation Proposal Worksheet.

  • Please be sure to include digital photos of all objects. You may group them if the artifacts are numerous and small.

  • Please also ensure that all objects you wish to donate are listed on the form or attach a separate list.

  • Email the form and digital photos to


Donation Process: Next Steps

  • After receiving the donation proposal form and photos, Curator Branch staff will then research the information submitted and present it to a Collections Committee that meets on a regular basis.

  • If the Collections Committee approves the donation, the staff will contact the donor, sending instructions for shipping the objects and a formal Deed of Gift (DOG).

  • After the artifact(s) has been received, a copy of the countersigned DOG will be sent to the donor.


    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Curator Branch at 202-433-0561 / 433-2220 or

Published: Wed Jun 07 14:15:03 EDT 2023