Path to Donation

Have you thought about long-term care of your fossil specimens? As collectors, we curate our specimens and their associated data and store the physical items somewhere in our home or nearby facility. This ensures we can revisit our specimens or add to our collection easily.

In some cases, it may be worth while to reach out to a local museum or institute and discuss options for your well cared for fossil collection. Museums have the resources to care for your specimens when you no longer can. You can establish a timeline that is best suited for you and your collection with museum professionals. There are many ways for museums to acquire your specimens while you can retain them in your collection – then once you are ready to donate them, they will be housed permanently in the collections.

Setting this up early ensures your fossil collection will not be lost or discarded when you are unable to personally curate them. A good starting place is to indicate on your fossil specimens curated on myFOSSIL that you are interested in eventual donation of your fossil specimens. This will allow any museum professionals on myFOSSIL to contact you if they are interested in caring for your specimens into the future.

Museums have limited space, so it may not be possible for one institution to take in your entire fossil collection. Something to consider is donating to other organizations such as local fossil clubs, that may interact with school teachers or other educators so your other specimens can be used for educational purposes into the future. myFOSSIL has a forum dedicated to Fossil Requests for K-12 Education.

You can set up a fossil estate plan as detailed by myFOSSIL members: Dealing with a Fossil Estate. This post includes information on setting up a written formal plan for your fossil collection.