Donate Objects

Policy for Donation of Objects at Fort Benton Museums

While the permanent collections of the River & Plains Society/Fort Benton Museums contain a large amount of artifacts, we still accept written requests for donating items to the collections.

The large number of objects already under our care dictates that we follow strict criteria when determining whether to accept new pieces. Factors include not only storage but long-term management costs and potential for research and exhibition use. Please read our Acquisition Guidelines below. Once you are satisfied that your potential donation meets our criteria, please submit our Donation Questionnaire for review.

Acquisition Guidelines

Thank you for considering a donation to the River & Plains Society/Fort Benton Museums. Please review the following guidelines for Museum acquisitions:

  1. The item(s) must be consistent with and relevant to the stated purpose, scope, and activities of the River & Plains Society/Fort Benton Museums.
  2. Primary consideration will be given to the Museum’s ability to provide proper care and storage for any artifact. No item(s) will be considered for acquisition if future care and preservation needs exceed the Museum’s resources. Donations that include financial support for long-term storage and preservation are encouraged.
  3. Items must have clear title and be free of copyright restrictions.
  4. Donors must provide a record of authenticity and provenance for all proposed donations. The Museum is bound by international antiquities laws. The provenance of acquired items shall be a matter of public record.
  5. If the Museum discovers that it has acquired an item (s) in violation of the above statement, the Museum will seek to return the item(s) to the legal owner or shall seek to determine the proper means of disposition through recognized authorities.
  6. A 30-day examination period may be requested for any proposed acquisition.
  7. All acquisitions are outright and unconditional. The Museum cannot guarantee that objects donated will be placed on exhibition, or that they will be exhibited or stored intact as a single collection.
  8. All donations of to the Museum’s collections are irrevocable upon the formal and physical transfer to the Museum.
  9. All legal instruments of conveyance and warranty of title, signed by the donor/seller/agent setting forth an adequate description of the items involved and the precise conditions of the transfer shall accompany all acquisitions.
  10. All acquisitions by gift or bequest to the Museum’s will remain in the possession of the Museum’s for as long as it exists.
  11. Federal law prevents the Museum from providing identification services or appraisal values for donated items. Donors are responsible for appraisals of value. Donations are normally tax deductible within IRS guidelines. Please consult your tax advisor.

River & Plains Society
1205 20th Street
Fort Benton, Montana