Does the Summerville Dorchester Museum accept artifact donations?
Yes, we welcome any artifact donations that can help fulfill our purpose of preserving Summerville and Dorchester County history. We are particularly interested in objects depicting life during the American Revolution in Dorchester County, those pertaining to Summerville plantations, Summerville during the Civil War or the "Golden Age of the Inns". Please contact our Historian or Curator for more specific requirements.
Would my object be a good fit as a donation to the museum? Please consider the criteria list below, before submitting your object to the museum for our collection. The museum is an educational institution and as such, we must take careful consideration in what we add to our collections in order to ensure that it will not only have historical significance but be a useful tool in instructing visitors on Summerville's past.
How do I donate an object to the museum?
Contact the museum with information about your object. Once reviewed by the Historian or Curator, he or she will contact you to set up an appointment where the item can be inspected, a determination can be made, and paperwork detailing your donation and our accession can be submitted.
What is the review process for donations to the museum?
The Curator or Historian will look over your answers to the questionnaire and assess whether the object meets the criteria, whether it would be fiscally responsible to take on the object's care or maintenance, and whether it would fit well in our collection. The Curator or Historian may ask additional follow up questions as needed and will have you fill out a "deed of gift". Also, If deemed necessary, the Curator or Historian may get final approval from the board of directors for accession of the object.
When will my object be on display at the museum?
While we cannot guarantee that an artifact will go on display in the museum, every artifact will go to further study and research on Summerville's or Dorchester County's past. Rest assured that they will help us further educate the public whether that be through use in special events, traveling displays, private tours or more.
Can my donation be credited when on display?
If you wish for your donation to be credited or dedicated to someone, the museum, upon review and approval, may do a line such as "donated in memory of.." or "gifted by..." on the sign for the display. Does the museum do repair or conservation work?
The museum will pay for the upkeep and maintenance of items in its care. However, the museum does not have the staff nor resources to provide outside repair and conservation services.
Can the museum appraise an object?
No, as a 501(c)3 non-profit, the museum is not legally allowed to offer appraisal services of objects. There are many other resources that you can consult though, if you are in need of object appraisal. The Smithsonian Museum Conservation Institute has an extensive list of organizations and appraisers found herethat should help meet your needs.
The closest resources to us that they have listed are:
Replacements, LTD- Specializing in china and flatware identification 1089 Knox Road McLeansville, NC 27301-9228
American Society of Appraisers - organization of appraisal professionals 11107 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 310 Reston, VA 20190 (800) ASA-VALU/(703) 478-2228
Can my object be removed from the museum's collection & if so, will it be returned?
Once a "deed of gift" is signed, ownership transfers to the museum. Therefore, we become responsible for what is done with the object after that. So, if it is determined by the Board and the Curator or Historian that an object no longer fits in with our collection, it may be deaccessioned. We will try to make every effort to find another appropriate museum or educational institution that could use the object in its collection. However, there is a chance that if deaccessioned, the object could be disposed of or sold . In the event of sale, the proceeds will go to care of our current collection or acquisition of more artifacts, not operating expenses.
Objects that are on display at the museum should meet this basic criteria: 1. The object is from Summerville or it was used in Summerville. 2. The object is of historical significance to our area of Summerville. 3. There is documentation of some sort that can support the claims of historical significance. 4. The object can be easily stored in our museum.