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Donating Objects

The McClung Museum occasionally accepts donations of objects that relate to the museum’s mission and complement existing collections for the purposes of preservation, research, exhibition, and/or public education.

Objects that have major conservation concerns are generally not accepted. Objects from antiquity, if exported from their country of origin after 1970, will be considered only if the donor can provide evidence documenting their legal exportation in accordance with the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export, and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property. Additionally, the museum adheres to US laws and international treaties regarding cultural properties.

If you would like to donate objects to the McClung Museum, please send all inquiries by letter or email to the registrar (see contact information below), and include the following:

  • A statement expressing the intention to donate the object(s)
  • Contact information (name, email, phone, mailing address)
  • Information pertaining to the object(s)’ ownership history, and any relevant information about the object(s), including measurements
  • Object photograph(s) (do not send any objects to the museum)

All donation proposals are first reviewed by the Museum’s Acquisitions Committee, which makes recommendations to the Museum Director.


Adriane Tafoya, Registrar / Collections Manager,
McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture
The University of Tennessee
1327 Circle Park Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996-3200

Please note:

  • Drop-off donations are not accepted—all donations must go through the formal review process, and objects offered for donation should only be delivered to the museum upon the museum’s request.
  • Potential donors may be asked to assist in covering the cost of transporting object(s) to the museum.
  • Donors will generally be asked to provide cash support equivalent to 10% of appraised value (or donor’s estimated value) of the objects for ongoing maintenance of the donated object. This request may be waived on a case-by-case basis.
  • Noncash contributions to the museum are tax deductible at Fair Market Value in accordance with the provisions of the IRS.
  • Legal and ethical concerns prevents McClung Museum staff from providing appraisals, but information about appraisers may be obtained at the Appraisers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers.