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Donating objects to CofGâr

The CofGâr collection contains many objects kindly donated by individuals, families and other groups and organisations over the last century.

Gifts like these help us tell the fascinating stories of the people and places of Carmarthenshire. Many of these might not have been known but for the generosity of our donors. So we want to continue to collect objects that are special or significant to our county.

But we already care for over 50,000 objects. So we don't have much space left to care for more. Imagine the time it takes to check on and conserve all these objects too!

This means that we can now only accept a small amount of the many kind offers we receive every month. We understand that this might be disappointing for some. Every object is valuable and loved in its own way. But to ensure that we give the best care for all objects that we look after now and in the future, we have to put limits on the kind of objects that we accept into the collection.

Please do not bring any objects into the museum without first making an appointment. We cannot accept or examine any objects without an appointment.

How do we choose which objects to accept?

All accredited museums should have a policy guiding their decisions on which objects they should be collecting (and which ones they shouldn't). Accreditation is about putting in place standards and procedures to ensure museums are sustainable, focused and trusted. CofGâr is no different. All CofGâr museums are either accredited or working towards accreditation, so we need to make sure we meet the standards expected of us.

When objects are made available to us to collect, either as donations, bequests or purchases, we use six areas of 'significance' to help us decide what to do.

Provenance

Examples of what this means might be:

 

  • Who made the object and why?
  • How did its present owner acquire it?
  • Was the maker/owner a person of significance?
  • Does the object/maker/owner have significance for a specific group or community?
  • Does it have a connection to Carmarthenshire?

Rarity | Uniqueness

Examples of what this means might be:

 

  • Is the object unique or unusual?
  • Is the object something that can't be replicated?
  • Is it the only or best example of its type in a public collection?
  • Does it have distinctive features?

Sensory Impact

Examples of this might include:

 

  • Does the object show great technical or creative ability?
  • Does it have a strong sensory/visual/emotional impact?
  • Is its design original, innovative or influential?
  • Is it recognised as 'iconic' locally, regionally, nationally, or internationally?

Condition

Examples of this might include:

 

  • Is the object intact/in its original condition?
  • Is it in unusually good condition for objects of its type?
  • Can it be safely handled?
  • Does any conservation work or damage tell us about its history/usage?
  • Is it still in working order (if it is a working object)?

Meaning

Examples of this might include:

 

  • Does the object reflect or highlight a particular event, theme, person, or group of cultural or historical significance?
  • Could it make a significant contribution to the study of any specific subject?
  • Is it associated with a discovery or innovation in the history of science, technology or design?
  • Does it highlight beliefs, ideas, customs or traditions related to a specific community or group?

'Exploitability'

Examples of this might include:

 

  • Could the object be used to support outreach or raise the organisations profile?
  • Could it be used to raise the profile and/or awareness of the culture/history of a specific community or group?
  • Could it support creative or economic activity for a specific community or group?
  • Does it have the potential to support income generation or business/product development?

My object meets some of your criteria

Great! If you have read the above examples and think your object might meet some of them, then we would like to hear from you.

 

What to do next

Fill in the form at the link below with us much detail as you can tell us about your object.

 

Donations Form

 

The criteria above gives you an idea of the kind of detail we would like to know. We definitely want to hear about its connection to Carmarthenshire and what you think makes it significant. Tell us all you can about the condition of your object and please attach photos of it too if you can.

 

Remember: we can only make a decision about whether to accept an object based on the information that you send us. The more detail you give us, the better.

 

Please note that we cannot give valuations of objects. We recommend contacting a local auction house for valuations.

Can I bring my object in to the Museum?

Not yet. The CofGâr acquisitions group meets every month to discuss objects that have been offered to the museums or that may be available to purchase. The group will discuss the extent to which each object meets the criteria shown above and will then make a decision on the suitability of the object for the collection.

 

In most cases, objects won't meet enough of the stated criteria to be accepted, while some cases may require us to seek more information. If you do not hear from us within eight weeks, then please assume that we are unable to accept your object.

 

For those objects that we'd like to accept, we will get back in touch with you to agree a convenient time for you to bring the object to the museum. Please wait until you have been booked in before bringing in your object.

Handling collection

Some objects we're offered might be perfect for our handling collection. These objects help children and other groups to engage with history in unique ways. From feeling the weight of a shield to putting your thumb in a fingerprint made by a Roman potter, touching an object connects you to the past like nothing else.

Objects that are used a lot will eventually get damaged or wear away. But, while they're in use, they will have played a vital role in bringing history to life for so many people.

When will it go on display?

Most objects we accept won't go on display immediately. Permanent exhibitions take a lot of time and effort to prepare. They're also carefully crafted around specific themes. Temporary exhibitions are planned well in advance too.

 

But this doesn't mean your object isn't valued. Your object will be conserved, documented and photographed, then used for education, research or future exhibitions. And, of course, you're always welcome to book an appointment to come and view the object whenever you like

 

Can I leave items to the museum in my will?

Yes. Please send us details of the offer and we will consider it and let you know whether the museum will be able to accept it, in line with our current Collecting Policy. Unfortunately, we are not able to guarantee that when the time comes circumstances have not changed, for example the museum may have acquired similar items in the meantime and as such we may no longer be in a position to accept your bequest.