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Artifact Donor FAQ’s

If you have artifacts or documents that you believe would add to the Mahoning Valley Historical Societies collection please contact Jessica Trickett, Collections Manager or Pamela Speis, Archivist to make an appointment to bring in your items.  The staff can be contacted at 330-743-2589.

What types of items is the Historical Society actively collecting?

  • Materials that help better understand the cultural and economic diversity of the region including diversity of race, nationalities, religions, and economic means, as well as conflicts over issues of diversity
  • Materials representing the mid-to-late 20th and early 21st centuries
  • Church and cultural organizational records
  • Audio recordings from local musicians
  • Archival resources for genealogists
  • Home movies and videos of local subjects in original formats or dubs
  • Materials representative of outlying areas in Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties
  • Materials relating to Harry Burt and/or the history of his Good Humor enterprise
  • Materials relating to new innovations in MahoningValley business and entrepreneurship
  • Materials representative of MahoningValley sports history

Are there items that the Historical Society is not collecting?

The following are materials, based on current knowledge of the collection and its usage, which MVHS currently will not actively collect:

  • Historic structures
  • Large industrial objects (mill and transportation equipment, etc.
  • Early 20th century costumes
  • Newspapers
  • Sheet music (unless locally significant)
  • Textbooks
  • Materials that duplicate better examples of items already found in MVHS collections

However, the staff can assist in identifying other collecting institutions that might be interested in such items.


Will the Mahoning Valley Historical Society exhibit the artifacts or documents in my donation?

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society cannot guarantee that any objects or documents donated to its collection will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose. Only a small fraction of the collection is on view at any given time. Documents are typically made accessible for research purposes in the Archives Research Center.

However, the Historical Society does allocate a significant portion of its annual budget to maintaining optimal conditions in its storage areas and galleries to insure the long-term preservation of all collection materials.

Objects from the collection are occasionally loaned to other institutions for temporary exhibitions, and many artifacts and documents in the collection are made available for research purposes.


Can I take a tax deduction for my donation?

The Mahoning Valley Historical Societyi s recognized as a qualified charitable organization, thus 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. You may also consult Internal Revenue Service Publication No. 526, Charitable Contributions, and Publication No. 561,Determining the Value of Donated Property.


Will the Mahoning Valley Historical Society appraise my donation for its monetary value?

The Mahoning Valley Historical Society does not provide appraisals of the monetary value of materials proposed for donation or for any other reason because the Internal Revenue Service regards museums and libraries as interested parties. Monetary appraisals prepared for donors by such institutions are subject to question or disqualification.

However, professional appraisers will perform this service for a fee. To find a licensed appraiser, contact one of the following organizations for a referral.

American Society of Appraisers

International Society of Appraisers

Appraisers Association of America