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Object donations

Information for people wishing to donate objects to Mersyside Maritime Museum

old painting of Liverpool seen from the river, with sailing ships in the foreground

'Liverpool in 1682', donated to the museum's collections by Robert Gladstone

Without the support of the people of Liverpool, as well as Liverpool’s national and international links, our collections would not exist.

National Museums Liverpool's Maritime History department and the Maritime Archives collect, record, preserve and make accessible material relating to the seafaring history of Liverpool and its people, their contribution to the global industry of seafaring and the impact this had on our city. The collections are held in trust by the Trustees of National Museums and Galleries on Merseyside for public benefit.

We collect material with links to the local area, be that individuals or Liverpool shipping lines, for research, learning and display. This means that although you may not see your donation on display, it has been carefully recorded and is accessible by appointment.

Do you own a piece of local history that you would like to donate?

We collect material with a strong connection to Liverpool and Merseyside’s maritime history which:

  • adds to our collections about Liverpool’s maritime history
  • relates to subjects collected by the Maritime History and Maritime Archives departments
  • is in good condition
  • has good associated information (links with individuals or events)

It is not always possible for us to accept everything offered for the following reasons:

  • we already hold similar examples of the item in the collection
  • the item is more appropriate to a different museum
  • there is little associated information with it or no link to the local area
  • the item is in poor condition and would be difficult to preserve
  • it does not fit in with our collecting policy

Every item offered is considered carefully by the curatorial team in relation to our collecting policy and existing collections. We will contact you to either accept or decline your offer.

Who to contact about possible donations

For objects such as paintings, ship models, uniform etc. please contact the Merseyside Maritime Museum at the Royal Albert Dock:

Collections Offers
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Royal Albert Dock
Liverpool
L4 8AQ

For documentation such as discharge books, career papers, journals, or postcards, please contact:

Maritime Archives
Merseyside Maritime Museum
Royal Albert Dock
Liverpool
L4 8AQ

It would help if you could provide the following information:

  • A photograph of the object
  • Date of the object
  • Rough measurements of the object
  • Background information - brief summary of any personal stories and how the object relates to Liverpool's maritime history

Wreck items and beach finds

Please be aware that if you recover or find wreck items, either from a wreck itself or washed up on a beach, then this must be reported to the Receiver of Wreck.  The Receiver of Wreck will then establish who owns the wreck and liaise with the finder and the owner, and any other interested parties such as archaeologists and museums. They can be contacted at: 

This web page www.gov.uk/report-wreck-material provides further information on wreck reporting.