Formation gallery will be closed for a private event on Saturday, 29 June 2024.

  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London
  • FREE
  • Chelsea, London

Donating to the Collection

Developing the Collection

The National Army Museum Collection is the world’s largest, and most significant, accumulation of objects and archives relating to the British Army and other Land Forces of the British Crown (including the former Indian Army until 1947). It consists of over one million items, spanning a 600-year period. 

The Collection is continuously developing as new items are acquired, many through the generosity of individuals in the form of private donations.

A medal group

Donations process 

What we collect

Please note that in order to work on legacy projects and focus on our existing archive and library collections, and help visitors better access these, we have temporarily paused the acquisition of new archival material such as letters and diaries, books, magazines and newspapers. We will not be taking any further donations of this type until March 2022.

We are currently actively collecting material relating to ordinary soldiers from the last five centuries, women who have served, and soldiers from the former British Empire and Commonwealth. We also run several active contemporary collecting programmes based around the Army today. For example, we are collecting material relating to the LGBT+ community, and the Army’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We consider all offers based on their condition, relevance, display potential, provenance and potential future use. For more information, see our Collections Development Policy.

What we need to know

We ask all potential donors to provide as much information as possible about their items. 

  • What is being offered - preferably an itemised list including title, description and date (where known). Please detail any markings on 3D objects.
  • Provenance - Where did the items come from? How did you come by them?
  • History - What can you tell us about the original owner (if anything)?
  • Images - photographs or scans help us to assess condition and content.

How we decide

All donation offers which meet the criteria of the Collections Development Policy will be referred to the Collections Development Group for a final decision to acquire. The Group meets every 4-6 weeks on average. As such, there may be a delay before we are able to provide potential donors with a decision.

How to get in touch

If you wish to offer us items as a donation, please complete our Donation enquiry form. Alternatively, you can send your information to:

Collections Development and Review Curator
National Army Museum
Royal Hospital Road
London SW3 4HT

Please ensure that your contact details are included with any material deposited with us.

When to expect a response

We will endeavour to reply to you within 2-4 weeks of receipt. Please do not send or deliver items to us before we confirm that we are able to accept them.

Other things to note

  • We prefer to acquire copyright with an item, where possible.
  • We will not acquire photocopies or scans of originals, except in rare circumstances.
  • We cannot guarantee to put an item on display.
  • We are unable to accept unsolicited loans.
  • Some items may be more suitable for regimental museums. You can search for these museums using the Army Museums Ogilby Trust website.

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