Donate Historical Materials
The Computer History Museum is continually growing its collections of computing history materials. In particular, we seek items that engage our various audiences and can be a focal point for interpretation, discussion or research.
Collecting must be deliberate and sustainable, thus new artifacts are accepted into the collection after careful consideration by a team of curators.
We value our artifact donors and the effort you have made to contact us. A member of the museum staff will contact you by phone or email within 2 weeks regarding your offer. If photos or additional info is needed, you will hear from us even sooner. Thank you for your understanding and patience while we review your donation offer.
Most especially, thank you for considering the Museum as repository for your saved items!
- Adobe Photoshop 1.0 (in box)
- Any BBN router (IMP, TIP, C/30)
- Apple Macintosh operating system version 1.0 (in original packaging)
- Atari ABAQ/ATW workstation
- Barneyscan XP software (in box)
- BBN Butterfly
- Bell Labs UNIX (any version)
- Bridge Communications routers
- CDC 9760 (SMD) disk drive with disk pack (1973)
- Cisco "Blue box" router
- Cisco AGS 1822 interface
- Cisco AS5100 w/ modem card
- Cisco Catalyst 5000 with assorted interfaces
- Cisco EIP/FEIP, FIP, AIP, MIP, CIP (both B&T and ESCON), POSIP
- Cisco RP1, SP, SSP, RSP
- Cisco TGS, PGS
- CNC-related materials
- Computer Automation, specific issues, 1950s through 1970s
- Computer Consoles, Inc (CCI) 6/32 "Tahoe"
- Conner CP340A disk drive (1987)
- Data General Nova 4
- Data Processing Digest journal
- Datapac terminal
- DEC RP01 disk drive with disk pack (1968)
- DEC RP02 disk drive (1969)
- DEC RPR02 disk drive with disk pack (1969)
- Deutsche Bundespost BTX terminal
- Digiscents Inc., iSmell internet-enabled olfactory device (2001)
- Electronics magazine - ONLY April, 1965 issue
- Electronika BK-0010 personal computer
- Elektronika-S5-11 microcomputer
- Fan-fold paper tape, unpunched, full boxes
- Fujitsu F6421 disk drive (1981)
- Fuzzball router (LSI-11-based)
- Gamepark PGP32
- Grundy Newbrain personal computer
- Hollerith punched cards, ca. 1890 to 1910
- Homebrew Computer Club newsletter
- Honeywell component sculptures, originals only
- HP 200A Oscillator (lower case)
- HP 2116A minicomputer
- HP 2760A optical reader
- HP 35 calculator (first generation "red dot")
- HP 97501 disk drive (1985)
- HP 9830A calculator
- IBM 129 Card Data Recorder
- IBM 1311 Disk Storage Drive
- IBM 1442 Card Reader/Punch
- IBM 1800 Data Acquisition and Control System
- IBM 2250 Display Station
- IBM 2260 Display Station
- IBM 2596 Card Reader/Punch
- IBM 3277 Information Display
- IBM 3278 Information Display
- IBM 3279 Color Display Station
- IBM 3370 disk drive (1979)
- IBM 3410 Magnetic Tape Subsystem
- IBM 3704 Communications Controller
- IBM 3705 Communications Controller
- IBM 3720 Communications Controller
- IBM 3725 Communications Controller
- IBM 3745 Communications Controller
- IBM 3746 Nways Multiprotocol Controller
- IBM 681 Redwing disk drive (1990)
- IBM 701 Electronic Data Processing Machine
- IBM Key Punch Type 001 Manual of Instruction (IBM Form 22-3806-0)
- IBM MC/SC -- Magnetic Card Selectric Composer
- IBM MC/ST -- Magnetic Card Selectric Typewriter
- IBM Memory Typewriter (1974)
- IBM System 360 (any model)
- IBM System 370 (any model)
- IBM System/38
- IDC Continuous Information Services Research Reports
- Intellivision PlayCable (1981)
- ITT 2020 Europlus (Apple II Plus clone)
- Lenovo PC (c. 1980s for Chinese market)
- Linus Technologies, Inc., Write-Top
- Loewe Integrated-Circuit Vacuum Tubes or similar (c. 1926)
- Lorenz Cipher
- Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Computation (MTAC)1943-1959
- Memorex 630 disk drive (1968)
- Memorex 660 disk drive (1969)
- Microsoft Kinect, first-generation (2010)
- Microsoft Windows version 1.0 (in original packaging)
- Minicomputer & mainframe software 1975 or earlier
- MIT Radiation Laboratory series (all volumes)
- NASCOM-1 Z-80 computer kit
- National Physical Laboratory (NPL) Reports (U.K.)
- NCR 304 business computer system (mainframe class, 1959)
- NCR 315 general purpose business computer (1960)
- NCR 390 low cost computer (1960)
- NCR 615 Century computer system (1968)
- NCR 7200 key-to-cassette data entry terminal
- NCR 8500 Criterion mini/mid computer system
- NCR Class 2000 Electric Accounting Machine (1922)
- NCR Class 3000 Electric Accounting Machine (1929)
- NCR Class 31, 32, or 33 Accounting Machine w/ typewriter (1950)
- NCR Post-Tronic Accounting Machine (1957)
- nCube 2 supercomputer
- nCube supercomputer
- NEC PC FX (1994)
- Nintendo Satellaview (1995)
- Nintendo SuperFamicom (Japanese Version only) (1990)
- Nixdorf Computer systems, software, and documentation pre-1990
- Packard-Bell PC, model VX88
- Paracel Genematcher
- PowerPC 620 IC (in package)
- PrairieTek 220 disk drive (1988)
- Prestel/CEPT/ videotex terminal
- Punch card/unit record equipment by Bull, De La Rue Bull, Powers, Powers-Samas, BTM, ICT
- Punch card/unit record equipment by Remington Rand, Soemtron, Aritma, SAM, Dehomag, Rheinmetall
- QuoTrek mobile stock quote device (1984)
- RCA Keyboard Computer
- Robotron computers
- Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.0 (2010)
- Sega SG-1000 Mark III Master System
- SGI photographs and brochures
- Sharp MZ-80K home computer
- SNK NeoGeo (1990)
- Speak&Spell (languages other than English, French and Italian)
- Stanford router
- STC 8800 disk drive (1975)
- Tangerine Microtan 65 microcomputer
- Telidon (NAPLS) videotext terminal
- The Franklin Institute Computing Center Memos #1-5
- The NEC PC Engine (Japanese version only), (1987)
- The NEC PC Engine GT (1990)
- Thomson CSF Themis Microprocessor Evaluation System (France)
- Transmeta Crusoe (TM3200 or TM5400)
- Twiggy Mac / Twiggy disk drive
- Unisys ICON
- Wang 144T scientific calculator (1970)
- Wang 370 scientific calculator (1969)
- Wang 380 scientific calculator (1969)
- Wang 600 programmable calculator (1974)
- Wang 700 programmable scientific calculator (1969)
- Wang 720C scientific calculator (1972)
- Wang C-52 programmable calculator (1973)
- Wang PC350 personal computer
- Whitechapel Computer Works, CG-200
- X.25 packet switch and PAD (any mfr.)
Items No Longer Accepted
If the items you are offering already exist within the Museum´s collection, your offer will automatically be declined. Please search our online catalog to see whether the Museum already maintains the item(s) you are offering.
CHM will automatically decline the following items. The list is not all-inclusive.
- Amiga: 500/1000/2000
- Apple: II / III / Cube / ImageWriter / Macs / Performa / Power Macintosh (any model)
- Atari: 400/800/1040/1200 XL/ST
- Coding forms
- Commodore: 64 / 64 executive portable / PET / VIC-20
- Compaq: laptops or portables (any models)
- CP/M machines including: Altos, Cromemco, Northstar, Ohio Scientific,Onyx, Xitan
- DEC: minicomputers, Rainbow
- Dell or IBM PCs nor “PC clones” of any era
- Heathkit H89
- HP: 85, 150, 2000, 2114/5/6, calculators, Deskjets
- I/O Devices: Keyboards, Mice, MODEMs, Monitors
- IBM: Convertible PC, PC Jr., PC Portable, PC/AT, PC/XT, System 34, Thinkpads
- IMSAI 8080
- Kaypro: any model
- Laptops: Compaq, Epson, Toshiba
- Mechanical calculators
- NeXT Cube / NeXT station
- Osborne: any model
- Palm Pilot
- Poqet: palmtop
- Printer ribbon (except for IBM 1403 ribbon)
- Printers: daisywheel, dot matrix, laser
- Slide rules
- Software: Mass produced within last 10 years
- Tandy 1000
- Teletype machines
- Texas Instruments Silent 700 Data Terminal
- TI 99/4
- Timex Sinclair
any mass-produced magazines or journals, including but not limited to
- ACM and IEEE publications
- AFIPS and IEEE Conference Proceedings
- Bell [AT&T] System Journal
- Computer science-related books including Time Life Books: Understanding Computers Series
- IBM Journal of Research and Development
- IBM Systems Journal
- Macintosh Today
- PC Tech Journal
Other Museums You May Contact
We appreciate your interest in helping us to preserve the history of computing. The following questions and answers give an overview of the Computer History Museum donation process.
What kind of items is the Computer History Museum collecting?
Generally, the Museum collects computer hardware, software, ephemera, audio recordings, photographs, moving images, and documents. We are particularly interested in prototypes, personal papers, rare machines produced in low-production runs, odd products which never made it to market, software source code, homemade items and original photographs.
What items does the Museum not collect?
The CHM is not attempting to collect every computer or computer-related item ever made and the collection already includes or represents most mass-produced items. Please search our collection for the item(s) you wish to donate. If they already exist within the Museum’s collection, your offer will automatically be declined. You can also check the list of items the Museum is no longer collecting.
Why can't the Museum accept everything? Why weren't my items accepted?
Documenting, cataloguing, preserving and storing artifacts are very costly. Every Museum must be discriminating about what is accepted because each has a defined mission and limited resources. CHM does not attempt to collect samples of every innovation and/or the products of every company. Items are declined if they do not meet our collecting criteria, the Museum already owns duplicates or owns similar representations, or if condition is poor.
What happens once I offer a donation to the Museum?
After submitting a donation via the online form, CHM's team of curators compares the Museum's current holdings and decides whether your materials may fit into the Museum's mission and current collecting strategy. If accepted for further review, a museum registrar then contacts you within four weeks to discuss shipping arrangements and paperwork requirements.
Why and how is ownership of my donation formally transferred to the Museum?
In order for a museum to incorporate new acquisitions into its artifact catalog, it must first have legal possession of that object. To complete the donation process, a CHM registrar will send two copies of a "Deed of Gift," the form that legally and irrevocably transfers ownership to the Museum. One copy is returned to the Museum, while the other is retained by the donor for his/her records. The Deed of Gift is the donor’s official gift receipt and may be used as proof of donation for tax purposes.
How should I ship a donation to the Museum?
Shipping instructions will be provided once your donation offer has been fully vetted. The Museum does not accept unsolicited materials; please do not ship or drop-off materials without first submitting your offer via the online form
Who pays for shipping a donation to the Museum?
Unfortunately, the Museum cannot pay for shipping and we appreciate artifact donors' willingness to do so. As the Museum is a registered non-profit corporation, a donor’s shipping expenses are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law and CHM recommends that donors retain all receipts.
What recognition do donors receive?
When artifacts are cataloged and exhibited, the names of donors are made public via the online catalog record or on the display label. In keeping with museum policy and practices, the phrase "Gift of ..." is used and a donor may specify how s/he wishes their name to be listed (within the limits of length and good taste). The Museum does not credit memorial or honorary artifact donations. Donors may not place special conditions on the way the Museum displays or labels your donation.
What about tax deductions?
The Computer History Museum is a federally-registered non-profit corporation under section 501(c) 3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code, EIN 77-0507525. Donations and shipping costs are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law. The Deed of Gift, which donors are required to sign to transfer ownership of the donation to the Museum, also serves as a tax receipt. The Museum advises you to seek the counsel of a tax professional.
Can you tell me how much something I own is worth?
No. The Museum is forbidden by federal law from providing any information on the value (real or perceived) of any object(s) donated or potentially donated to it. In the interest of fairness and because of the potential for abuse of the Museum's good offices, its staff, volunteers and all affiliates are strictly prohibited from providing valuations of any object at any time for any purpose. To locate an appraiser, consider contacting your regional branch of the Appraisers Association of America or the American Society of Appraisers directly. Also, there are books available within specific subject domains, such as slide rules or electronic calculators, that describe market prices.
Will you keep my donation forever?
Collections department staff periodically assess the CHM's collection and may elect to deaccession (remove) select artifacts. Criteria for deaccessioning includes materials that no longer serve the Museum's mission, duplicative holdings, or the artifact’s components have physically deteriorated with age and time. Deaccessioning requires approval by the Museum's board of trustees and is never undertaken lightly. Materials removed from the collection cannot be returned to donors, but may be transferred to other museums.
Where and when will you display my donation?
The Computer History Museum actively collects objects today for display far into the future. With rare exception, the CHM will not immediately display a donation and makes no guarantee that your donated artifact(s) will be displayed at any time. When the Museum develops an exhibition, curators review a list of artifact candidates and choose those items that best suit the exhibition’s theme and messages. However, all donations are cataloged and stored, and are accessible to the public via our online catalog and to researchers by appointment.
Donation Offer Form
Your contact information will be kept private and used only to contact you. Upon clicking the "Submit" button, you will receive an automated confirmation message. Please retain this message for your records.