Information about Donating an Artifact

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Please Read This Before Bringing an Artifact to the Maritime Museum

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 unique and quality 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 it to the museum.

We Cannot Accept Everything

Artifacts in our museum 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 Your Maritime Artifact BEFORE You Bring It to the Museum

We ask that you fill out the form at the bottom of this page or complete and return the Donation Information Sheet (PDF) before bringing your artifact to the museum. This will allow us 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 Maritime Museum 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 Your Maritime Artifact 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.


Museum Artifact Submission Form

Please completely fill out the form below if you would like to submit an artifact to the Maritime Museum. Once we've had a chance to review everything, we will be back in touch to let you know if your items have been accepted, or if we have any additional questions.

    • Photographs of the object (showing front, back and sides, if possible)
    • Official appraisal information, if available
    • Any credit acknowledgements or courtesy statements you wish to have noted if the object goes on display
  • Drop files here or
    Max. file size: 5 MB, Max. files: 5.
      Maximum file size - 5 mega bytes.

    Other Ways to Submit Your Artifact 

    • Print out this Artifact Submission Form and mail it to:
      ATTN: Emily Falke, Curator
      Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
      113 Harbor Way, Suite 190
      Santa Barbara, CA   93109
    • Drop off the completed submission form and associated information to the museum front desk during business hours. Please make sure this information is submitted to the attention of: Emily Falke, Curator. Do NOT bring the item itself to the museum until we've had a chance to review your information.

    We greatly appreciate your interest in the museum and your desire to help us build our collections! We thank you for your cooperation in our acquisition process which allows us to better serve you. Please allow some time for us to get back to you about your donation, as the item must be confirmed via Committee and our Board. Your support of SBMM is invaluable, now and always!



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