Preservation Long Island’s comprehensive collections reflect Long Island’s history and cultural heritage over four centuries. We are especially interested in objects with known Long Island histories, that is, who made or used them and where and when.

How do I make an object donation to Preservation Long Island?
It is important for staff to screen items proposed for donation to ensure that they meet Preservation Long Island’s collecting criteria. To provide this information, please fill out our Object Donation Form. Preservation Long Island staff will review the information and will contact you to gather more information, schedule a time for you to drop off the item(s), or to direct you to another institution. Please DO NOT send or bring the item(s) to the Preservation Long Island unless specifically requested to do so.

Items selected for the collection are based on the following criteria:

  • The item(s) must relate to the history or culture of the Long Island region (Brooklyn, Queens, and Nassau and Suffolk Counties).
  • The item(s) must fall within Preservation Long Island’s mission and collecting policies.
  • Preservation Long Island must have the resources to properly house and provide long-term care for the item(s).
  • The donation must be an unrestricted gift with a transfer of permanent ownership.

Donate Objects

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the donation process take to complete?
The process takes 3 to 4 months. After staff determines that an item fits within the institution’s collecting criteria, the curator will schedule a time for you to drop off your donation. The curator will then review the object further and the donation will be brought to Preservation Long Island’s Curatorial Committee for approval. Finally, Deeds of Gift are sent to donors for a signature to complete the transfer of title and rights.

Can Preservation Long Island staff appraise or authenticate objects?
Preservation Long Island does not provide appraisals of the monetary value of proposed donations for any reason due to ethical considerations. Staff may also not authenticate objects. To find an appraiser in your area, please contact the following organizations:

American Society of Appraisers

International Society of Appraisers

Appraisers Association of America

Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?
Object donations to Preservation Long Island are generally tax deductible based on their fair market value. Consult with your tax professional or the Internal Revenue Service regarding your particular situation.

Will the materials I donate be exhibited?
Because of space constraints and changing exhibits, only a portion of the collection is on view at any given time. We cannot promise that a given item will be exhibited. However, exhibits do rotate and items are always available for research.

May I request the materials I donate be returned to me?
Preservation Long Island cannot return items to a donor. Signing a Deed of Gift legally and permanently transfers ownership and rights of materials to Preservation Long Island.

Does Preservation Long Island accept objects on long-term loan?
Preservation Long Island does not accept long-term loans. Items may be borrowed during current exhibitions, but limited resources prevent the institution from storing and preserving objects it does not own.

Can I sell my items to Preservation Long Island?
Preservation Long Island has limited funds to purchase collections and relies on the generosity of its donors. Preservation Long Island may purchase items on a case-by-case basis. Please complete the Object Donation Form and indicate that you are interested in selling your item(s).

Can artifacts be removed from Preservation Long Island’s collection?
Preservation Long Island, with approval from the Board of Trustees, may remove historical materials from its collections through a process called deaccessioning. Items that conform to the deaccessioning criteria as described in the Collections Management Policy (e.g., objects determined to be outside the scope of the collections; deteriorated objects beyond reasonable repair, etc.) may be considered for deaccessioning. Deaccessioned material may be donated to another museum or cultural or educational organization, sold, or disposed of in another manner that Preservation Long Island sees fit. Any proceeds from the sale of deaccessioned historical material are placed in a restricted collections care and acquisition fund.