Donating to the Collections


Donations by members of the public are the basis of The Watt Institution's collections and we are always very grateful when people offer us items for our collection. We appreciate the generosity and interest shown by donors in the venue. All offers of objects are always considered very carefully but we are only able to accept objects when they meet the criteria listed in our Collecting Policy and Acquisitions Criteria.

The Watt Institution's specialist staff are responsible for deciding what items are added to the collections. If you wish to donate an item it is generally a good idea to speak to us before making a journey to the Museum.

The stages involved in donating an object are:

  • After discussing the potential donation you will be asked to complete a transfer of title / object entry form.
  • A prospective donor has 30 days to reconsider his proposed donation after signing the transfer of title form.
  • All donations will be considered for acceptance or rejection with reference to the Collecting Policy of the Museum and the Criteria for Acquisition.
  • If an item is not considered suitable for the collection, we will make the object available for return to the owner. In many cases we may be able to suggest another institution to whom donation may be more appropriate.

When an object becomes part of the collection it does not mean that it will be permanently displayed. There are currently over 50,000 objects in our collections and all objects are on display for a limited period of time to conserve and protect them for future generations. Many items would deteriorate if they were on continuous display and so to preserve your donation we do not continually display it.

It is our policy not to accept any donations with attached conditions.



People sometimes consider leaving items to us in their will. Many of our most important donations have been acquired in this way. If you are considering doing this then, as with other types of donation, it is best to discuss this with the Watt Institution Co-ordinator first. The Museum will provide written confirmation accepting the bequest, as it is best to have this before it is written into the will. Otherwise, we may not accept the bequest.