Object Donation Policy

The African Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison accepts donation of objects (artifacts, books, etc.) whether new or used (in good condition) as bequests to fulfill our mission to support research, teaching, and outreach in multiple disciplines across all aspects of land and life in Africa. We thank the many alumni, professors, staff, and friends who have generously donated objects to our collections.

Given space and resource constraints, we cannot accept every object that is offered. Thus, we prioritize objects that fulfill ALL the following guidelines:

  • Represent an aspect of life in Africa, 
  • Do not duplicate our current holdings,
  • Can be safely stored in our facility and pose no safety hazards for staff or visitors, 
  • In good condition for reading, research, teaching, or exhibition,
  • Have verifiable record of authenticity and provenance (history of ownership), and are legal to acquire,

If you feel your objects meet the criteria, please complete the Object Donation Form.

Next steps

  1. Once your request is received, we may contact you for additional information. Depending on the objects, research into legal issues or consultation with outside curatorial experts might be necessary. Kindly bear with us while we work to evaluate the best care for your donations.
  2. The collections staff assesses the object(s) and reaches out to the prospective donor with the assessment decision. Requests with adequate documentation are prioritized. 
  3. If the object(s) is a good fit for the program, a formal acceptance with arrangements for transfer of ownership will be initiated. 
  4. The donation is finalized when the approved object(s) is acknowledged to be in our physical custody. Objects must be sent in modest sized boxes that close (no bags or open boxes) and labeled according to approval guidelines.
  • Please note that our donation policy does not allow us to accept gifts without due review process. Do not send or bring unapproved objects to the center as we do not have the capacity to store objects before or while they are being considered for approval.

For additional questions, please email us at asp@africa.wisc.edu with “Object Donation” in title.

Thank you for your interest in supporting our mission.


You can also give to the African Studies Program Gift Funds.