The David M. Rubenstein National Institute for Holocaust Documentation at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum continues actively seeking original artifacts, documents, photographs, films, music, and oral testimonies, to document the events of the Holocaust, from Jewish and non-Jewish victims, survivors, and eyewitnesses, who suffered discrimination, displacement, and persecution by the Nazis and their collaborators between 1933 and 1945.
Because our curators and staff are primarily telecommuting due to the COVID-19 emergency, please do not send any materials or collections to the Museum until a staff member directs you to do so. Together, we will continue building the collection of record on the Holocaust—making it accessible anywhere, anytime—to ensure we can teach this history with authenticity and relevance to every new generation.
Share Your History
The Museum is in a race against time to rescue the evidence of the Holocaust, including home movies and amateur films taken before, during, and immediately after the Holocaust.
How to Donate
- Consult the list of common donations below to find out which items we collect.
- Scan or photograph the artifact you wish to donate and share it with firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complete our online donation form, e-mail email@example.com, or call 202.488.2649. The process may require additional documentation.
- If you have home videos and/or film that you would like to donate, please visit our Home Movies Collections page for complete information.
- If you have other items you would like to consider donating, please review the list of common donations below to find out which items we accept.
Do not send any items to the Museum without first speaking to one of our curators in order to make proper arrangements.
The Museum collects artwork created by children and adults in hiding, forced laborers, witnesses, partisans and refugees, as well as those in the camps and ghettos. We also collect wartime artwork created on the homefront as well as post-period works by survivors that directly reflect their personal experiences during the Holocaust.
Clothing, Uniforms, and Textiles
We seek concentration camp uniforms and other garments and textiles (including patches, forced markings, and armbands) worn and used during the Holocaust. The Museum does not accept textiles which are inauthentic or without provenance information, such as Nazi uniform pieces brought back to the United States by Allied military personnel, or material purchased at auction or at flea markets.
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common questions from our donors about legal gift agreements, appraisals, and more.
Documents, Correspondence, and Diaries
We collect original documents and photographs that reflect the experiences of individuals and communities. We do not accept photocopies of original material still in private hands.
Film and Recorded Sound
The Museum actively seeks to expand its collection of moving image documentation of Holocaust history to make it the largest central repository worldwide of such materials for research. If you have original films, broadcast radio or sound recordings, or related materials, like a camera, diary, or posters, you would like to donate, contact staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photographs of concentration camps taken by the US Army Signal Corps during or after liberation were widely distributed and brought home by US troops. For more information about liberation photographs and to view some common images, refer to this article. We will review your liberation photographs to determine if we have a copy in our collections. Be prepared to provide the curators with copies (including the back of the photo if it includes inscriptions), information about the photographer, geographic location, and dates (if known). We may acquire photographs with handwritten notations on the verso.
Medals and Insignia
We collect medals and insignia on a case-by-case basis. Be prepared to provide information about how the item was acquired and, if possible, the original owner of the insignia and where and when it was worn.
Nazi Flags and Regalia
Due to the large number of Nazi flags and banners regularly offered to the Museum, we can only accept flags and banners of a specific size that accommodate our current exhibit needs. Provide a detailed description and the exact dimensions of your flag or banner to the curators.
The Museum collects oral histories with Holocaust survivors, witnesses, and bystanders. We acquire personal interviews and public presentations in both video and audio formats. If you are planning to conduct an oral history interview and are looking for suggestions, see this online guidance. We cannot accept individual copies of oral histories done by other institutions or organizations without the express written permission of these organizations.
We collect prewar, wartime, and postwar photographs take between the 1930s and 1950 depicting life before the Holocaust, wartime experiences, and the reconstruction of life after the war. Be prepared to help us with identifying information related to persons, places, and events depicted in the photographs, as well as the larger context of the individual or family’s Holocaust experiences. If you are not willing to donate original photographs, we can arrange for reproduction. See above for details of liberation photographs.
The Museum collects Nazi-produced propaganda as well as anti-Nazi propaganda.
We collect objects used, acquired, or created by forced laborers, witnesses, partisans, refugees, as well as people in hiding and in the camps and ghettos. We must, however, consider size of the objects and their physical condition. Provide dimensions as well as other details about the wartime owner/creator, geographic location, and dates (if known).
We do not collect Nazi or Allied military weaponry, including (but not limited to) guns, swords, daggers, and explosive devices.