Education and Outreach
With donor support, the Museum reaches thousands of Canadians each year through its extensive educational programs. On-site curriculum-based school programming, online resources such as the Canada and the First World War module and travelling resources like Supply Line encourage lifelong learning about our military history.
Donating Material to the Canadian War Museum
The Canadian War Museum accepts select offers of donation for addition to our National Collection. The National Collection is an assembly of military artifacts, archival and photographic material, and works of art that represents the Canadian military experience and promotes public understanding of Canada’s military history in its personal, national and international dimensions. Donated artifacts are recorded and cared for to the highest standards.
The Canadian War Museum also collects published works (books, magazines, technical manuals etc.) that support the research of Canada’s military history.
Please do not send your material to the Museum unless requested by the Museum to do so.
The Canadian War Museum requires that all potential donors complete an Offer of Donation form. Photos are welcome additions.
The purpose of the Offer of Donation form is to gather more information about the offer and for the donor to confirm that they are the legal owner of all the material offered. Please include a complete list of all the items that you wish to donate. A team of Museum experts will then review the information to reach a decision or ask more questions if needed. Accuracy and completeness of the information provided will help speed up the review. The Museum cannot process an offer without a completed Offer of Donation form.
The Canadian War Museum receives hundreds of offers annually and each offer is considered in turn. It may take us some time to review and process your offer. Your patience and support of Canadian history is appreciated.
Unfortunately, the Museum is not able to accept every donation that is offered. Only material that has been formally approved for acquisition will be accepted by the Museum. If we are unable to accept your offer, we will try to recommend other relevant institutions that may have an interest.
Decisions to collect material are based on:
- The Museum’s collections criteria and mandate.
- Whether an artifact fills a gap in our collection or is sufficiently represented.
- The availability of space and resources for appropriate care.
- Whether the current ownership is unknown or might be disputed.
Please note: The Canadian War Museum accepts all medals awarded to Canadian Service Persons who represented Canada in times of conflict if current ownership is not disputed.
Submit your Offer of Donation and images
Offers for the National Collection (military artifacts, archival and photographic material, works of art) can be sent to:
or by mail to:
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Offers of only published works (books, magazines, technical manuals etc.) can be sent to:
or by mail to:
Canadian War Museum Library
Canadian War Museum
1 Vimy Place
Frequently Asked Questions
- Will my object be displayed?
Acquisition does not guarantee public exhibition and the Canadian War Museum does not accept donations offered with conditions. While artifacts are rotated in and out of exhibition, only a small percentage of the Museum’s collection is on display at any one time. The remainder of the collection is held in storage designed for long-term preservation. Visitors to the Museum can see into some of our storage vaults through windows in the galleries.
- If my object is not on display, what happens to it?
The objects in storage are available to researchers for consultation on-site or for loan to other qualifying museums, and many of the objects and object records can be accessed or viewed through various online resources.
- Can I visit objects I have donated?
We always make our best effort to accommodate requests to see donated material. Please send us advance notice of your visit so that we can retrieve the objects from storage, or else inform you if they are on display, in conservation, or if special scheduling is required.
- Can I get a tax receipt for my donation?
If requested, the Canadian War Museum will issue a tax receipt for any total value over $100.00. A tax receipt may take several months to be issued. Please clearly indicate if you would like a tax receipt at the beginning of the acquisitions process.
- I have something I’d like to donate. Can I drop it off at the Museum?
No. We are very interested to hear more about your objects but unfortunately, for reasons of security and public accountability, Security Officers, Gallery Assistants, Hosts and Library staff are not allowed to accept objects “over the counter”. Unsolicited material will not be accepted.
- Can the Museum tell me if they are interested in the material I am offering before I complete the Offer of Donation form?
No. The completion of the Offer of Donation form is the mandatory first step in the acquisitions process. The Museum cannot evaluate an offer without a completed form.
- How long will it take to process my offer of donation?
It may take several months to review and process your offer after we receive the Offer of Donation form and supporting images. The speed of a decision is helped by accurate and complete offer information. All offers are reviewed by Collections staff and must go through multiple stages before the process is complete. We consider each offer in turn and strive to keep the process as smooth and straightforward as possible.
- What can I do if the Canadian War Museum is not able to accept my offer?
If the Canadian War Museum is not able to accept your offer, we will try to recommend other institutions that may have an interest in the material you wish to donate.
- What if I change my mind once my donation has been accepted?
Once ownership has been signed over, the objects are the property of the Crown and cannot be returned. If you have concerns, please discuss them with us prior to signing over ownership.
If you have any additional questions, please email us (firstname.lastname@example.org).