Donate to the Museum

Every year, many artifacts, books, and archival materials are added to the ITHF&M's collections through the generosity of individuals and organizations. These donations help us fulfill our mission as custodians of the game's history and the legacy of the Newport Casino.

As stipulated in our Collections Policy, the ITHF&M seeks to collect artifacts and museum-quality items for its permanent collections that relate to the history of tennis, its significant figures, our Hall of Famers, and the Newport Casino. All items accepted for the permanent collection are of historic and/or artistic merit, and can be used for the purposes of display, comparison, research, preservation, or to upgrade the quality and/or condition of our existing collections. On occasion, the Museum will accept materials that do not meet the strict parameters of the needs of the permanent collections for our Educational (or hands-on/study) or Reference Collections.

Only artifacts with demonstrated authenticity, established provenance, and clear title will be considered for acceptance by the Museum. Please note that it is our policy to refuse any donations upon which restrictions have been placed.

Information for Potential Donors:

Due to the great volume of offers we receive each year, we cannot accept donated material through the mail or in person without prior communication. If you have artifacts, footage, photographs, or archival material that you believe would complement the Museum's collection, please send us an e-mail or letter explaining the item, its significance, and include photograph images and any pertinent background information. All inquiries and information regarding potential donations should be directed to:

Nicole Markham
Curator of Collections
International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum
194 Bellevue Avenue
Newport, RI 02840
telephone: (401) 849-3990
facsimile: (401) 851-7920
email: research@tennisfame.com (Please indicate "Donation Inquiry" in Subject line.)

Frequently Asked Questions about Donations to the Museum:

Will the ITHF&M appraise my donation for its monetary value?

Due to regulations and policies issued by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and general museum ethical standards, the Museum does not provide monetary appraisals nor can we authenticate any item(s) offered for donation. Further, we cannot provide these services for individuals not interested in donation, but simply are seeking information about an item(s) within their possession.

However, professional appraisers do perform this service (often for a fee). To find a licensed appraiser in your area, we recommend that potential donors contact the American Society of Appraisers (www.appraisers.org), the International Society of Appraisers (www.isa-appraisers.org), or the Appraisers Association of America (www.appraiserassoc.org) for a referral.

Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?

The ITHF&M is recognized as a qualified charitable 501(c)3 organization. As such, the fair market value of your donated materials is generally tax deductible. To take advantage of your deduction, you must file tax form 1040 and, depending on the value of your donation, tax form 8283.

To ensure that you receive the maximum tax benefit, it is recommended that you consult with your own accountant, attorney, and/or the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). You may also consult Internal Revenue Service Publication No. 526, Charitable Contributions, and Publication No. 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property.

Can I mail or drop off items to be considered for donation?

The ITHF&M does not accept unsolicited donations through the mail or in person without prior communication and approval from the Curator of Collections. Our temporary storage for material not yet formally part of the Permanent Collection is limited, and for the safety of the materials you wish to donate, it is best if you contact the Museum first. If you have artifacts, documents or other materials that you believe would make valuable additions to our collections, we ask that you kindly submit your request in writing to the Curator of Collections.

How are potential donations reviewed?

Donation offers are initially reviewed by the Museum staff. The staff is knowledgeable in both the scope of our existing collection, as well as various issues associated with the long-term care of artifacts. The staff uses the criteria outlined in the Collections Policy as a guide. We also take into consideration the condition of the object and the availability of resources required to properly store and care for the item. The sensitive nature of materials or ownership of copyrights may also factor into acquisition decisions. Following staff review, the Museum Committee of the Board of Directors makes the final review, consideration and decision based on staff recommendations.

How long does it take for the ITHF&M to review proposed donations?

Offers of donation to the ITHF&M are reviewed on a quarterly basis throughout the year (March 31st, June 30th, September 30th, and December 15th).

Why do I have to fill out paperwork for my donation?

All donations must have signed paperwork in order to become part of the Museum's collection. If the donation is on-site at the Museum for consideration by the Museum Committee for addition to the collections of the ITHF&M, then a Temporary Custody Receipt must be completed and on file. Following acceptance of items into the Permanent Collection, a formal Deed of Gift form must be signed to formally acknowledge the generous gift.

Though a donor may choose to remain anonymous, the ITHF&M must have signed paperwork in order to prove that the item belongs to the Museum, no matter how small the donation is. Please note that donation records are kept secure and not available for general research by the public.

Does the ITHF&M accept long-term loans?

The ITHF&M does not accept long-term loans. While we do accept loan materials on a short-term basis in conjunction with exhibitions and other programs, we cannot commit our resources to the long-term storage and preservation of materials that have not been permanently accessioned into the collections.

What will the ITHF&M do with my donation once it has been accepted?

If your donation has been accepted for the Permanent Collection, it is designated for preservation. Items within the Permanent Collection are handled and processed according to the highest museum standards by trained professionals and are stored and/or exhibited only under safe and secure conditions.

If your donation has been accepted for the Education or Research Collections, it is designated to be utilized by researchers and individuals and groups participating in special programs such as tours, lectures, Old Fashioned tennis activities, demonstrations, and other educational activities.

Will the ITHF&M exhibit the items I donated?

The Museum cannot guarantee that any objects donated to its collection will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose. Due to space limitations, changing exhibition schedules, and conservation concerns and the need to preserve our collections as a whole, we can only display a fraction of the collection at any given time. There are many objects that should not be exhibited frequently as excessive handling, exposure to potential environmental fluctuations, and light exposure can cause irreversible damage. The ITHF&M does allocate funds within its annual budget to maintaining optimal conditions in its storage areas and galleries to ensure the long-term preservation of all collection materials.

However, exhibitions are not the only way the ITHF&M utilizes a donation. As the ITHF&M is a public institution, many of its collections are made available (by appointment) for study by scholars and members of the public. In addition, objects from the collection are occasionally loaned to other institutions for temporary and traveling exhibitions.

If I donate artifacts or documents to the ITHF&M, will they be returned to me at my request?

The ITHF&M cannot return accessioned collection materials to the donor or the donor's heirs. Once the Museum accepts your donation for the collection, you will be asked to sign a Deed of Gift, which legally transfers ownership of the materials to the Museum.


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