The National Model Aviation Museum encourages and actively solicits donations. If you would like to donate to the museum, we look forward to hearing from you. This page, and the page linked with the “Step by Step Guide” arrow, will address frequently asked questions, as well as the donation process.

Who can I contact for help?

Archivist Jackie Shalberg - or (765) 287-1256, ext. 511 for documents and photographs and magazines.

Museum Collections Manager Maria VanVreede - , or (765) 287-1256, ext. 508 for artifacts and model airplanes and books.

How do I donate a model airplane?
Due to the large number of model airplanes offered to the museum each year a committee is in place to review and accept model aircraft offered to the museum. To put your model aircraft before the committee for review, please complete this Artifact Submission Form (through Google Forms) and send recent, color pictures to

  • The Artifact Submission Form on Google Forms must be completed all at once. To preview the questions the form will ask, or to download a copy to print and mail/send directly through email, please view the Word version, or the .pdf version of the form.
  • You cannot attach pictures to the Google Form; please email pictures separately to .
  • You will receive an emailed copy of your form when completed in Google Forms.

How do I donate something that isn't a model airplane?
Kits, engines, photographs, documents, other equipment, and memorabilia can be submitted without the form by emailing the information to a museum staff member - for details on what information is needed and how to get in touch with the appropriate staff member, please read the step by step guide.

I’m sure you will want this item. Can I just send it to you without contacting anyone?
Please do not send anything to the museum without prior approval from museum staff. While the item may be fantastic, we might already have examples of it and don’t need another one. In any case, we like knowing what items are expected so we can plan space accordingly. We cannot guarantee the items will be accepted without prior approval. Items will be returned to you if they are not needed, or are in poor condition. If you leave or mail an object without prior approval, and multiple attempts to get in touch with you fail, the item will be considered an unrestricted gift to the AMA and treated as such.

If I donate an item to the museum, can I say how/when it will be exhibited or cared for?
The museum accepts items unconditionally. This is for the benefit of the artifact, so it can be cared for in the best manner possible, now and in the future. Because of this, we cannot promise that an artifact will be displayed, as objects are displayed based upon relevancy to current exhibits, condition, and other factors. We do rotate objects on and off exhibit.

Why didn't my donation go on exhibit right away?
The collection exists to preserve and educate about aeromodeling history. Our exhibits, while the most prominent method of doing this, are not the only way we fulfill our mission. The objects are used by staff for research, are used by independent researchers, and are preserved so that future generations will be able to see and enjoy them. Just because it does not go on exhibit immediately does not mean that we don't want it, or don't have a use for it. If you are interested in researching at the museum, please see this page.

If I donate an item to the museum and then decide I want it back, will it be returned to me?
We are sorry, but no, items cannot be returned. When you donate the item you are turning full ownership over to the National Model Aviation Museum.

What is a Deed of Gift? Who can sign it?
A Deed of Gift documents the transfer of ownership from the donor to the Museum. Only the current and valid legal owner(s) of the artifact may sign the Deed of Gift. If there is a question about who is the current and valid legal owner(s) of the object, please let your staff contact know.

Why does a witness need to sign the Deed of Gift?
A witness needs to sign the Deed as testament to your ownership of the object and your willingness to donate it to the National Model Aviation Museum. The witness must list their name and address on the Deed. The witness cannot be related to you.

What else do I need to sign in regards to the donation?
For object donations, you will also be asked to sign a “Declarations Page.” This page states that as far as you know you are the legal owner of the object, describes what will happen with the photographs and information that you send along with the object you are donating, and clarifies how you want to be credited for the donation.

Can museum staff tell me how much my donation is worth?
No, museum staff is not ethically and legally allowed to give appraisals, or estimates of cost/re-sale value for any items, whether being donated or not.

Do I get a tax deduction for my donation?
We suggest consulting a tax professional and/or the IRS website about information concerning tax deductions regarding your donation. We will provide a copy of IRS Form 8283 to you, if requested, and sign and return it in a timely manner after a donation is completed.

What’s going to happen to the photographs I send?
For object donations, the museum does save the originals, or copies of, all photographs and paperwork that is submitted for consideration for donation. Please make sure that you own the copyright and/or have authority to share any photographs or documentation you provide.
1. These images, whether for objects that are accepted or not, may be placed on exhibit, on the museum’s website, in History Program biographies, in AMA-related print and web publications, such as Cloud 9, or Model Aviation, and AMA’s social media sites, both now and in the future. Credit for the photograph will be given. Photographs will not be allowed to be reproduced in non-AMA publications without the express written permission of the copyright holder.
2. If you are unsure of the copyright of the image, or do not want it shared, please inform museum staff when sending the photographs so the appropriate restriction notices can be associated with the image.

What happens to the information I shared in correspondence and on the Artifact Submission Form?
Information (related to the object and its history only, not the donor’s personal information) from the Submission Form, correspondence, and other provided documentation might be quoted in exhibits, on the museum’s website, on AMA’s social media websites, and in publications such as the Cloud 9, or Model Aviation, both now and in the future. Credit for the quote will be given. Information may be quoted in non-AMA publications, with appropriate credit.

How will my donation be recognized?
When appropriate, the museum recognizes donors on exhibit labels, on the museum website, in the Cloud 9, and occasionally in other AMA publications like Model Aviation, as well as on AMA social media websites.
1. You may choose to be recognized in all traditional print locations, but not on the museum’s website or on social media websites. (Please note that while National Model Aviation Museum staff will make every effort to keep your name off the web for the immediate future, this cannot be completely guaranteed for the future long-term.)
2. You may choose not to be recognized in any location, and credit will be anonymous, or listed in such a way that does not include your name.
3. At the time of donation you will be able to choose how the credit line will read from a list of suggested formats.

General Donation Resources:
The Society of American Archivists has created this brochure that will help with general guidelines for donating your personal or family papers to any repository, "A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository":
IRS Publication 526 "Charitable Contributions":
IRS Publication 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property":