The Santa Barbara Maritime Museum is dedicated to our mission of creating quality exhibits and educational experiences that celebrate the Santa Barbara Channel and illuminate our rich connection to the sea. We have great interest in acquiring objects that will help us promote our mission. Please take a moment to read these guidelines if you have an item that you think will enhance the collections, and would like to donate to the museum.
Please Understand That We Cannot Accept Everything
Artifacts in our collections deserve the best care we can provide. We will be most likely to accept your donation if:
- It has a clear connection to the museum’s mission and locality
- It is sufficiently documented so the museum can interpret it usefully for the public
- It is unique to the collection, such that the museum does not already have many examples
Tell Us About It BEFORE You Bring It To Us
We ask that you complete and return the Donation Information Sheet (PDF) before bringing your item to the museum. To better assess your proposed donation and how it can contribute to the museum,
All proposed acquisitions (donations) must be approved by the museum’s Curator, Collections Committee and Board of Trustees.
The harbor facility is not presently equipped to properly store dropped-off items—our collections storage is off-site and access must be coordinated with our curator. By adhering to these procedures, you can help us provide for the safety, security, proper handling, and identification of your item from the very start.
Have It Appraised If You Want It Deducted
Your item must be properly appraised to ensure the appropriate value of your deduction. The museum is unable to appraise your proposed donation, in accordance with museum policy and ethics. However we are happy to provide references for reliable appraisers.