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Local people have donated most of the Museum’s collection. Objects can also be given to the Museum on loan for a special exhibition or as a bequest upon the death of an owner.

What does the Museum collect?

We collect material that has been made or used in Stevenage Borough as well as some of the villages in the surrounding area. This includes the villages of Aston, Aston End, Benington, Codicote, Datchworth, Graveley, Great Wymondley, Knebworth, Langley, Little Wymondley, Walkern, Watton at Stone and Woolmer Green.

The Museum collects a wide variety of objects including local art, archaeology, photographs, natural history, oral histories and items that illustrate the products of local industry and the way of life of people who have lived in Stevenage past and present.

Our Collections Policy is a tool for Museum staff to help them maintain and improve the quality of the Museum's collections.

How does the Curator decide whether to collect an object?

The first question the Curator asks is if the object falls within our geographical collecting area. It maybe that your object would be better placed in another museum nearer to where the object was used or made.

  • Do we already have a similar object in the collection?
  • Is it good condition?
  • Are you able to tell us the history of the object?
  • Can we ensure the Museum can provide appropriate care, conservation and storage of an object?
  • Is it too large for the Museum to store?

How do you offer an object for donation?

Contact the Curator, by phone or email, with some details about the object. This means that a decision can be made before you bring the object into the Museum.

If we accept the object when you bring it into the Museum, you will be asked to complete an entry form and tell us as much about the object as you can remember.

You will then be given a copy of this form as a receipt. The entry form will also include an agreement that you have transferred the title of the object to the Museum. In effect, this means that you or your family will not be able to claim it back.

What happens to my object after it has been donated?

Your object will be accessioned into the collection and stored safely. The object will either be added to the permanent or education collection. Objects that enter the collection will not necessarily be on permanent display, they will be accessible for research purposes and as a loan to other museums.

If your object enters the education collection it will be used as a handling item in school workshops, reminiscence sessions and special event days.

Please do not be upset if we decline your object. It maybe that it does not fit into our collecting area or is too large for the Museum to store. We will be able to suggest other museums that may be interested.