The Center actively collects artifacts, documents, film, photographs, and other materials that chronicle the history of the Sacramento region. Materials need not be monetarily valuable, organized, “old,” or related to a prominent entity or event in order for them to be historically significant. Our holdings include city and county government records and donations from everyday individuals, families, businesses, and community organizations. If you have an item or collection you’d like to donate to the Center, please contact us at or 916-808-7072.

All potential donations are submitted to our Collections Committee for approval. While the Center cannot accept everything offered, we are happy to review materials, and in cases where we decline, we will always suggest other organizations that might be more appropriate for them.


The Center for Sacramento History gratefully accepts monetary donations to help us reach our goals and care for our collections. Checks can be made out to City of Sacramento and sent to our address:


Center for Sacramento History
551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95811



The Center accepts only permanent donations of materials. Donors are asked to sign a donation agreement, called a Deed of Gift, which formally signifies that the materials become the property of the City of Sacramento and the Center for Sacramento History.


Once materials are donated, researchers, museum patrons, and other users will be able to access them by visiting the Center or wherever the Center’s exhibitions are displayed. In order to ensure security and long-term preservation, exhibited materials are displayed under stringent security and preservation standards, and research materials are used only at the Center under supervision.


Because the exhibition and research value of items may be diminished if they are restored or rearranged, donors are encouraged to contact the Center before repairing, discarding, or reorganizing materials. Sensitive items that may exist in the collection should not be removed by the donor. Instead, you should discuss with the curator/archivist the possibility of restricting part of the collection to address privacy concerns, trade secrets, or similar matters. While the Center desires to make all items accessible to users, it can agree to reasonable restrictions for limited periods of time.


Assignment of copyright is often complex, and donors should work with Center staff to clarify issues of copyright ownership prior to completing a donation agreement. Generally, copyright belongs to the creator of writings and other original materials (such as photos and music) but can be legally transferred to heirs or others. Moreover, ownership of copyright is separable from ownership of the physical item (the letter or photo). The Center asks donors to donate not only the physical materials but also any copyright that the donor might own. This makes it easier for the Center to respond to requests from researchers to use the documents.


In certain circumstances, it may be possible for a donor to take a tax deduction for the donation of a collection. Donors are encouraged to speak with their tax accountants or attorneys about such arrangements. Center staff cannot give tax advice, nor are they permitted to appraise the monetary value of a collection. The Center can provide donors with a list of local appraisers who can (for a fee) make monetary appraisals. It is a donor’s responsibility to arrange for and bear the cost of appraisal.