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Donating Artifacts

Our collecting mission focuses on objects, documents, images, and ephemera owned by or related to Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain, his family, friends, and associates, and his various homes, with special focus on the Hartford home. As we are scrupulous about displaying only authentic period items to help interpret the lives of the Clemens family and their servants, the target date for all of these items is 1881-1891.

Donations added to the museum collection through the generosity of individuals help us fulfill our mission as stewards of Mark Twain’s legacy. If you have an item that you believe would enhance the collections, and you would like to donate it to the museum, please take the time to read our acquisition policies and following our guidelines for proposed donations. This will help make the donation process as smooth as possible for everyone involved.

To help us better assess your proposed donation and how it can contribute to our mission, we ask you to complete and return to us a Donor Information Form, available HERE. Including photographs of the object(s) with your form is also appreciated. Please wait until you hear from us before you bring the item to the museum. The more accurate information you can give us about an item you wish to donate, the better we’ll be able to understand its significance and interpret it for the education of the public.

Please Understand That We Can’t Accept Everything

The museum’s collections deserve the best care we can give them, and yet our resources are limited. We must beware of accepting more objects than we can properly care for. Therefore, we will be most likely to accept your donation for the collection if:

  • • it has a clear connection to the museum’s mission,
  • • it doesn’t duplicate objects already in the collection; and
  • • it is sufficiently well documented that we can interpret it usefully for the public.

Furthermore, not everything we do accept will necessarily go on permanent exhibit. We will not accept donations with exhibition stipulations. Our collections include items used for research and for public education programs, as well as those displayed in the galleries. All of these uses help promote our mission of preservation and education. Finally, all artifact donations must be approved by the Museum’s Collections Committee and then by the Board of Trustees.

Please submit your Donor Information Form and all donation inquiries to Jodi C. DeBruyne, Beatrice Fox Auerbach Director of Collections, at jodi.debruyne@marktwainhouse.org.

Appraisals

The Mark Twain House & Museum and its employees cannot appraise item(s) for you. We are not qualified appraisers, and even if we were, the Internal Revenue Services considers such activity by a 501c(3) a conflict of interest, as we are a possible repository for the item(s).

Your artifact donation may be tax-deductible. However, to ensure the appropriate value of your deduction, the piece must be properly appraised. You can obtain references to qualified appraisers through:

The International Society of Appraisers www.isa-appraisers.org

Appraisers Association of America, Inc. www.appraisersassoc.org

American Society of Appraisers www.appraisers.org/find-an-appraiser

Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association www.abaa.org

Support The Mark Twain House

As a nonprofit organization, The Mark Twain House & Museum depends on contributions from donors like you to ensure the preservation of the Clemens family Hartford home for generations to come. Your support also allows us to share our enriching programs, education initiatives, and events with our community.

Donate Here

For information on how to donate stocks or securities, please contact Michael L. Campbell, CFO and COO, at 860-278-3148, or email below.

Email Michael L. Campbell

The Mark Twain House & Museum values the support of its donors, and strictly adheres to the Donor Bill of Rights as established by Association of Fundraising Professionals (Used with permission).

Other Ways to Donate

Donate by Mail

Send checks to:

The Mark Twain House & Museum
c/o The Development Department
351 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, CT 06105-4401

Donate by Phone

Call (860) 280-3112

New as of December 2015

Beneficial Change in Law Regarding Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)

With the newly signed Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (PATH), those 70 and older, (72 and older for those born in 1950 or later), can now directly donate up to $100,000 from an IRA to qualifying charities such as The Mark Twain House & Museum and satisfy their required minimum distribution while excluding the distribution from their taxable income.

This provision was previously temporary and renewed each year, but has now been made permanent and retroactive to the beginning of 2015. This is not only beneficial to the affluent, but can be attractive to those who do not itemize deductions by allowing them to receive a tax benefit from their charitable contribution. Please consult your financial advisor for more details regarding your particular situation and charitable contribution.