Collectie - Schenken en nalaten - Museum Volkenkunde

Donating and bequeathing objects

Donating and bequeathing objects

Are you considering a gift or bequest of objects or photographic material to the National Museum of World Cultures or the World Museum? If so, we’re very grateful to you!

Contributing to our collection

The history of the museums grouped together under the National Museum of World Cultures stretches back almost two centuries. The collections of the three constituent museums have been built up in part through the combination and exchange of collections with other heritage institutions, purchases, legacies and gifts. The collection comprises objects and photographs from Asia (particularly Indonesia and Japan); Oceania; the Americas (North, South and Central America) and the circumpolar regions. Fashion, design and popular culture are also well-represented.

Today we still regularly receive gifts of items and photographs from people who value the museum and its collection, for which we offer our heartfelt thanks. As a public institution we ensure that objects are preserved and remain on show for future generations. Thanks to the gifts we receive, the museum can tell the stories attached to small, valuable and seemingly unimportant objects: stories about past and present, customs and religions and the ties that bind us as people.

Acceptance policy for objects and photographic material

We really appreciate your lovely gesture in thinking of our museum for your object or photo. We would be very pleased to talk to you about a possible donation, bequest or loan. Gifting or bequeathing objects or photographs can in some cases be deducted against income tax or inheritance tax. 

There are however a number of factors that should be taken into consideration. As a national museum we cannot include everything in our collection. We cannot for example accept objects containing human material. Animal material can only be considered in cases where the donor is in possession of a CITES permit. Furthermore, we can only accept objects and photographs of which the provenance is known, and the donor is the rightful owner. We cannot accept objects that are brought to the museum or sent as a gift in the post. 

When assessing an object for inclusion, consideration is given to whether it fits with the museum’s collection policy and whether it is a fresh addition to an already extensive collection. This assessment can be carried out most effectively if we are sent all the information you have about the object or photographic material. For this reason we kindly request the following information from you, if available: clear photographs and a short description of the artefact you are offering to the museum; information about the current owner; the object’s provenance (how it came to be in your possession and the name of the previous owner/owners), nature of the offer (gift, loan or other). Such information can be sent to which will also answer any enquiries.