Donate to the collection
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's
Since its opening in 1967, generous donations of objects and archival materials have enabled the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum to build the world’s largest and most significant collection of materials documenting and preserving country music, its history, and culture from folk roots to the present. Donated items contribute to our exhibitions, online digital collections, educational and public programs, and publications, and are vital for study and research.
If you have authentic examples of musical instruments, stage clothing, audio recordings, manuscripts, moving images, photographs, and other materials that you believe would support the museum’s mission, please contact us at email@example.com.
What We Collect
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum collects materials with connections to the history and development of country music and related genres, including bluegrass, Americana, folk, Cajun, and western-swing. These materials include:
- Musical instruments having significant associations with artists, musicians, songwriters, and other music professionals; a musical style; or the development of the instrument itself
- Stage wear and other clothing items and accessories worn by performers or created by designers who have made a significant impact on the look and image of country performers
- Original song compositions in the form of handwritten or typed manuscripts and digital files
- Personal items documenting the career or life of a country music performer, group, or non-performer, such as scrapbooks, journals, significant industry awards, datebooks, photo albums, correspondence, and fan mail
- Print materials, including books, popular magazines, trade publications, scholarly journals, souvenir scrapbooks and programs, newsletters, academic dissertations, song folios, pamphlets, and sheet music
- Audio recordings representing the work of musical artists and non-performers. These include commercial recordings, radio broadcasts, demos, home recordings, interviews, and oral histories on all formats, such as Edison cylinders, wire recordings, transcription and acetate discs, reel-to-reel tapes, cassettes, vinyl records, compact discs, and digital files
- Moving images in all formats, including music videos, documentaries, interviews, concert recordings, feature films, and home movies
- Promotional materials, including press kits, photographs, posters, flyers, handbills, tickets, concert programs, and tour merchandise
- Personal papers, business records, photographs, and recordings of individuals, organizations, and businesses connected to the country music industry, including disc jockeys, managers, record executives, producers, recording engineers, and photographers, as well as publishing companies, record labels, management and booking agencies, radio stations, venue owners, and performing rights organizations. These materials may include financial records, contracts, memos, reports, correspondence, tour itineraries, rosters, radio playlists, and studio logs
- Country music-related photography, including noteworthy individuals, events, locations, and/or venues from the 1880s-today. Includes images on film (negative and transparencies), prints, and digital
- Fine art and fan-made art with a significant association with country music. Includes drawings, paintings, textile craft work, and sculpture
What We Do Not Collect
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum does not accept objects, documents, and audio/visual materials into its collections that fall into these categories:
- Have little potential for study, exhibition or research
- Are non-unique objects and materials already represented in the collection
- Have deteriorated beyond any means of conservation, or no longer retain physical integrity, identity, or authenticity
- Were illegally obtained, lack authenticity, or acquired on the basis of false information
- Contain hazardous materials or are actively decomposing in a manner that directly affects the condition of other objects or the health and safety of Museum staff and/or visitors
Collections Donations FAQ
How do I donate objects and other materials to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum?
Please submit your donation request in an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 416-2001. Your potential donation will be referred to the museum’s Collections Committee for review.
How are potential donations reviewed?
Potential donations are reviewed by the museum’s Collections Committee. The committee considers relevance to the museum’s mission, condition of materials and objects, and resources required to store, care for, and provide access to the offered donation.
What can I expect if my donation is accepted?
Following formal acceptance by the Collections Committee, you will be contacted by a curator, librarian, or collections management staff member who will help you arrange the transfer of the donated materials. Following receipt of the donation, we will send you a deed of gift to document the transfer of objects or materials to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. You will be asked to sign two copies of the deed of gift, which legally transfers ownership of the object or materials to the museum. One signed copy is to be returned to the museum. The second copy is for you to retain as proof of your donation.
Can I mail or drop off a donation?
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum accepts donations through the mail and in person, but only after arrangements have been made with the appropriate curator, librarian, or collections management staff member. With rare exceptions, unsolicited donations sent via mail will be returned to sender.
Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a 501(c)3 charitable cultural and educational organization, and all non-cash donations are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. For further details concerning the tax laws governing the donation of property, potential donors should consult the IRS website and/or publications 561 ("Determining the Value of Donated Property") and 526 ("Charitable Contributions").
Does the museum appraise an offered donation to determine monetary value?
The Country Museum Hall of Fame and Museum does not provide appraisals of offered donations. Potential donors should obtain a third-party appraisal of items, prior to their donation. To find a licensed appraiser in your area, contact one of the following organizations for a referral: the American Society of Appraisers, the International Society of Appraisers, or the Appraisers Association of America.
Will my donation be exhibited?
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum cannot guarantee that objects or other materials donated to the collection will be exhibited. Only a small fraction of the collection is on view at any given time. However, there are many ways that your donation may be experienced by museum visitors and the public or studied by researchers, including our online exhibits and digital collections, exhibition catalogs and other publications, and numerous educational and public programs.
Does the museum purchase objects and archival materials for its collection?
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum has no acquisitions fund for purchasing objects and other materials for its collection. We rely on generous donations from individuals and organizations to continue to build our collection.
Does the museum ever return donated objects and other materials to the donor?
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s policy dictates that donated objects and other materials cannot be returned to the donor once ownership has been transferred. The museum holds its collections in trust for the public, who are the beneficiaries of the trust, in perpetuity