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Loans, donations and bequests

How to donate or loan to your local museum or gallery.

Have you ever wondered where museum collections come from?

Most of the items held by Oxfordshire Museum Service come directly from the people of Oxfordshire, who donate them to us.

The items can be archaeological, found when digging the garden or out walking the dog, or they can be historical, and may not have much monetary value but still be really interesting because they tell us about your family’s life in Oxfordshire.

Everyday items are just as important as beautiful pieces of art and the owners don’t have to be famous or important.

Some things may be more unusual, made by someone in Oxfordshire, but they are all count when it comes to telling the history of Oxfordshire.

If you have something, with a good story about someone in Oxfordshire or made by a firm based in Oxfordshire, you might have just what we are looking for.

We are particularly interested in objects that tell us about living and working in Oxfordshire since the Second World War, right up to today.

How to donate

Contact us if you want to donate an item to an Oxfordshire museum.

Please remember

  • Don't bring items in without an appointment, as we cannot accept them over the desk.
  • We will decide whether to accept your offer based on existing collections, our collecting priorities, legislation and council policy.
  • If we are not able to accept the item, we may be able to put you in touch with someone who can.

Hands on Oxfordshire's Heritage

Some things might be great for our handling collection or we might want to borrow them for an exhibition.

The handling collection is made up of objects used in museums, for exhibitions or by Hands on Oxfordshire’s Heritage. The Hands On boxes are themed around different topics including transport, holidays, home entertainment, school, fashion and adornment, life in World War Two, toys and games, washday, and many more that are used by schools and community groups.