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Donations + Acquisitions

This brief guide to MOA’s acquisitions process is intended to give potential donors and vendors information that will help them make decisions about the future of their collections. The Acquisitions Committee’s task is to ensure that MOA is the right place for the object(s) in question. MOA’s internal process is a carefully considered one and can take anywhere from two to 12 months, occasionally longer.

How does the Museum acquire collections?

  1. Donation: All donors must be the legal and rightful owners of said objects. The donation form includes the phrase, “I hereby donate said property in whole to the UBC Museum of Anthropology with no reservations, restraints or limiting conditions of any kind whatsoever.”
  2. Bequest: The bequeathing of one or more objects to MOA as described in the owner’s last will and testament. Museum staff can express interest in the object(s) at the time of the making of the will but always with the proviso that the object(s) will be subjected to the same acquisition process that applies to all donations (see below).
  3. Purchase: The vendor must be the legal and rightful owner of the objects and must be able to produce appropriate export paperwork if the purchase originates outside of Canada.
  4. Commission: The timing and cost of a commission is negotiated, as are the copyright conditions.
  5. Transfer: The transfer of one or more objects from another institution.

How do I donate?

Initial contact is usually made with a co-chair of the Acquisitions Committee. A preliminary discussion will determine whether or not the material offered is of interest to the Museum or may be better suited to another institution. For example, objects that do not fall within MOA’s collecting parameters are not brought forward to the Committee.

The object(s) offered, or preferably a photograph, are submitted to a co-chair with as much background material as possible. If the object(s) is/are brought into the Museum, the potential donor is issued with a receipt. Enquiries regarding the possible donation or sale of objects to the Museum may be made directly to one of the co-chairs of the MOA Acquisitions Committee.

For enquiries regarding objects from Asia, Africa, Pacific Islands or Europe, please contact Dr. Fuyubi Nakamura, Acquisitions Co-Chair; Curator, Asia at

For enquiries regarding objects from North, Central or South America, please contact Dr. Jennifer Kramer, Acquisitions Co-Chair; Curator, Pacific Northwest, at

For further information, please see the full version of the MOA Acquisition Guidelines.
Acquisition Guidlines