Contribute to the Collection

The 390th Memorial Museum exists to honor and memorialize those who served in the 390th Bombardment Group (H), and to educate the public on their service and sacrifice in the cause of freedom. We rely on all types of public support to fulfill our mission. Your help is essential.  In addition to financial and planned gifts, we also solicit donations of 390th H Bombardment Group and World War II era artifacts, documents, photos, ephemeral and other related materials.

Broadly, the 390th Memorial Museum accepts donations that falls into at least one of the categories below:

  • The item is related to the 390th Bomb Group
  • The object is original to the period circa 1943-1945 (may or may not apply to archival and digital material)
  • The item is B-17 related
  • The item tells the broader story of the WWII air force
  • The item is related to the Air Force and European Theater

Why donate to the Museum’s Collection?

As the Greatest Generation quickly fades, so does our connection to World War II. By collecting and preserving personal artifacts such as letters, photographs and war diaries, we breathe life into the past and tell a more meaningful story that resonates with all people. But time is short. As veterans pass away, we risk losing valuable materials.

While photographs, letters, and diaries are powerful tools for conveying the timelessness of the human experience, we recognize they have deep personal significance for family members. Although we prefer originals, we will also accept copies of some items. We encourage discussion among family members before a donation is made to the museum. Proper recognition for your generous gift will be made. Requests for anonymity will be respected.

We strive to follow best practice for preservation and collection. The Museum Collections Policy is approved by the American Alliance of Museums; our collections staff are trained in collections management. The Museum is constantly improving its collections stewardship.

Monetary Donations

Donating to the care of collections at the 390th Memorial Museum is a way to help preserve history! To ensure our materials last as long as possible, the museum needs funds to properly house our artifacts, digitize materials, and make our resources widely available to the public for generations!

If you would like to donate to the care of collections, simply note “Collections Care” when you submit your donation. To contact staff about making a donation, click here.

Material Donations

Donating artifacts or archival material to the museum is a wonderful way to contribute to the museum.  To begin the donation process, please first contact the museum.  Please DO NOT send anything to the museum without prior approval from collections staff.  Please note:

  • We ask that there is clear ownership to items before they are donated.
  • We cannot guarantee that all items will be accepted.
  • Items may not be immediately displayed.
  • The museum does NOT accept live ammunition or hazardous/flammable materials.
  • The museum accepts donations of books, periodicals, documents, photos, film, artwork, uniforms, aircraft parts (at collections discretion), weapons (at director’s discretion), period furniture and other miscellaneous period items.
  • Donors are responsible for determining the monetary value of items. The Museum does not provide an appraisal service.

Once your donation is approved, you will be asked to complete the appropriate Deed of Gift Form(s), which will be provided to you by Collections staff. Submit the completed, signed form(s) with your donation. A copy will be sent to you once the item is accepted.

Contribute Information to an Object Record

Another way to contribute to our museum community is by uploading content through our User Contributed Content. This feature of our catalog allows museum patrons to offer their own knowledge of an item or record’s history. For example, if you have a personal story or photograph of a veteran to share with us, you can upload that content—including photographs, documents or website links—and attach it to the veteran’s record. If you would like to learn how to contribute content, please view our tutorial here.

Contribute Digital Material

The museum accepts not only physical artifacts and original documents, but electronic copies. We strive to obtain originals whenever possible—original photographs and documents have a longer known shelf life. However, under the right circumstances, a digital document can become a part of our permanent collection.

If you choose to donate digital born materials, you will be asked to provide information about the digital item. Preserving digital material is far more challenging than physical items and requires greater attention to how the digital born material was created, captured and stored. Please be prepared to answer questions to the best of your ability about digital donations. If you are creating a first-generation digital copy for us, we are likely to ask you to scan the item to our specifications. We do this to ensure the best possible preservation for your precious donation!

Contact the Collections Team

Please check the collections portal before contacting staff. This ensures staff answer your inquiry in the most timely manner. If you need assistance using the portal, please check our tutorial. For timely fulfillment of your request, please fill out the form in its entirety. Your request will be placed in que. Please allow 7-10 days for a response.

Contact the Collections Team

Contact the Collections Team

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Explore Our Collection

View the entire collection in the Collections Portal

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