As of October 2021, the Museum has a temporary hold on collecting objects for a period of one year. However, we are still accepting archival material. Read more
Do you have an interesting item to donate to the museum?
The qathet Museum & Archives collects artifacts and records that tell stories about the people of qathet — from Jervis Inlet to Desolation Sound, including Harwood, Hernando, Savary, and Texada islands — and their cultures, history, and lifestyles. Due to storage constraints, we must be selective about adding to the collection. We must also ensure that our collection fits within our mandate. All artifacts and records must be in good condition and be appropriate for the museum to care for and store.
When considering a donation to the qMAS, we encourage you to read the sections below.
If you have additional questions or are unsure if your materials might be of interest to the museum, please set up an appointment with us to discuss. You can email us at email@example.com or phone us at 604-485-2222.
How does the PRHMA decide what artifacts it will accept?
Potential donations are assessed using three main criteria:
My object is really old! It has been in my parents’ basement for 30 years. Is this significant?
Unfortunately, we must consider more than the age of an object. To accept an object as a donation, the PRHMA considers the object’s origin and how it relates to the people, businesses, organizations, and history of the qathet Regional District (qRD).
Here is an example of a donation with a significant origin and story:
A small group of cedar baskets was donated to the PRHMA in 2019. The donor’s family acquired the baskets through local trade with the First Nation community. The publication Powell River's First 50 Years notes that Tom Ahola, the donor’s grandfather, purchased the Cranberry hardware store in 1937 from Martin Alsgard. In 1954 Tom’s son, Edwin, owned and operated the store. Edwin was the donor’s uncle. The donor remembers her uncle acquiring the items when he was the owner of the store. She notes that payment was sometimes made with salmon and possibly baskets.
My object has an incredible story. It belonged to my grandmother who brought it to Powell River from the East Coast. Does the PRHMA want it for the collection?
The PRHMA typically accepts artifacts that have a significant link to the history of the qRD. When an object was used outside of the qRD, we recommend donating it to a museum closer to where it was purchased or used..
Why would the PRHMA not accept my donation?
We receive far more offers of donations than we can accept. Our storage, display space, and our resources to care for artifacts is extremely limited. We are grateful to receive objects but must decline objects that are:
If we decline the donation of your object(s), we will do our best to work with you to recommend alternate museums and organizations that might be interested or be more suitable for your items.
Will the PRHMA display the object if I donate it?
Like most museums, we have less than 10% of our artifacts on exhibit. We can’t guarantee if, or when, we will exhibit artifacts. The continuous display of many different objects is not beneficial to their long-term preservation. Part of the PRHMA's role is to preserve artifacts for future generations. We rotate the displays on a scheduled basis. This allows the objects on display to have a respite, and gives us the opportunity to develop new displays and refresh exhibits.
Will the PRHMA put a plaque with my relative’s name on the object?
We do not permanently affix signs or plaques to objects because it is distracting to visitors who are viewing them on exhibit. Staff will record your relative’s connection to the artifact and retain the information in its file. If the artifact goes on exhibit, your relative’s name might be included in an artifact label if that story is relevant to the exhibit.
May I drop off my objects off at the museum?
No. People must first contact PRHMA staff. Any objects dropped off without contact information are considered abandoned property and will be disposed of. We will not accept abandoned property into our collection because we do not know its history, and we are unable to complete a transfer of ownership agreement. All potential acquisitions must go through an extensive research and verification process while we consult our collections policy to see if it fits with our collection.
Will the PRHMA purchase an artifact from me?
Most of our artifacts are donated. The PRHMA rarely purchases unsolicited offers of artifacts and will only do so if they meet a specific need in our collection.
Does the PRHMA issue tax receipts for objects?
The PRHMA is a charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency and is authorized to issue receipts for income tax purposes. The museum’s collection manager may approve tax receipts for donations of objects that have significant monetary value. A qualified appraiser must appraise artifacts and objects worth $1,000 or more. High-value artifacts might require multiple appraisals. The donor is responsible for the cost of appraisals. The PRHMA does not offer appraisal services.
I’ve changed my mind. Can I have my donation back?
No, as a registered charity, the PRHMA cannot return deaccessioned artifacts to their original donors. This is in compliance with the Canadian Income Tax Act.
Will the PRHMA keep my donated artifact forever?
The PRHMA accepts objects for its permanent collections with the goal of preserving them for the education and enjoyment of future generations. However, in some situations, we have to remove an item from our collection. This might happen if:
The removal of objects from the permanent collections is called deaccessioning and is a regular part of a museum’s collections duties.
How does the PRHMA handle First Nation’s artifacts and cultural materials?
When local First Nations material is donated, the PRHMA works in close partnership with the Tla'amin Nation. The PRHMA maintains and manages records, documents, images, archaeological material, and objects created by past and present members of the Tla’amin Nation. These materials are held in trust and maintained by the museum for preservation, research, and display purposes. Ownership of these materials is retained by the Tla’amin Nation.
The PRHMA does not actively collect the cultural materials of other nonlocal First Nations and Indigenous communities. The museum will work with potential donors to locate the appropriate community or institution for the objects.
The PRHMA has been listed as the repository for archaeological materials recovered from the traditional lands of the Tla’amin Nation. Under the British Columbia Heritage Conservation Act, this is an agreement between the Tla’amin Nation, the BC Archaeology Branch, and the PRHMA.
Due to the culturally sensitive nature of these materials, the PRHMA will abide by federal and provincial laws to access information and to respect the privacy of personal information.
The PRHMA recognizes that the Tla’amin Nation has right of refusal to the reproduction or use of their materials, or materials relating to past and present individuals of the Nation. Researchers requesting to use records or images created by, or relating to, members of the Tla’amin Nation must receive approval from the Tla’amin Nation. Researchers can contact the Tla’amin Nation’s Cultural Representative for approval.
Donating Archival Material
Donating Archival Material
What archival material does the PRHMA collect?
The PRHMA accepts records from a variety of different sources, including:
The museum collects a wide variety of material in any format (digital and/or analog), including but not limited to:
We are particularly interested in original, unpublished materials (diaries, photographs, personal or institutional papers). Secondary sources that cast light on the history of the qRD will also be considered.
Our goal is to collect records that show what the past was like. But keep in mind that current events will, before long, be considered as part of the past. Don't assume that we only want old stuff!
What does the PRHMA not collect?
The PRHMA is eager to expand its collections but reserves the right to refuse records. Records will be refused when:
We store records only when they are donated to us for permanent preservation.
Why should you consider donating your records?
PRHMA staff are governed by a mandate to ensure the long-term physical preservation of the records donated to the archives. Records donated to the archives will be available to the public for consultation and will allow:
What about copyright?
Collecting records ensures they are made available for the widest possible use and access. We request that any existing copyright or intellectual property rights be transferred to the PRHMA. When donors or collectors are not the holders of copyright, we recognize this is not possible. If copyright is not transferred to the PRHMA, copies will be made for researchers. This is in accordance with the fair dealing exemptions outlined in the Canadian Copyright Act.
When copyright is not transferred to the PRHMA, the museum requests explicit permission to reformat the records to a digital media format. The museum will use the reformatted copies as widely as it’s allowed under the Act.
How do I donate to the PRHMA?
To make the donation process as efficient as possible, please ensure that:
Please provide as much of the following background information as you can:
Don't worry or stress if you don't have all this information or are still confused if we might be interested in your records. Contact us and we will be happy to discuss your donation.
When outright donation is impossible, the PRHMA is willing to consider copy loans. In these situations, records are temporarily transferred to the PRHMA for the staff to digitize. The digital copies are donated to the archives and the originals are returned to the owner.
If you are unsure whether your donation meets our collections’ mandate, please contact us. We may refer you to a more appropriate institution if the materials are not a fit for the museum.
Will the PRHMA purchase records from me?
The archives does not purchase records. We rely on the generosity of our donors to help us preserve our collective past through the gift of records.
Does the PRHMA issue tax receipts for archival records?
The PRHMA is a charity registered with the Canada Revenue Agency and is authorized to issue receipts for income tax purposes. Tax receipts for donations of records that are known to have significant monetary value may be issued at the discretion of the Archivist. A qualified appraiser is required to appraise archival records worth $1,000 or more. Multiple appraisals might be needed for high-value artifacts. The donor is responsible for the cost of appraisals.