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The Institute’s collections support the museum’s mission and research needs, as well as supplement, wherever possible, the research needs of the university. Artifacts in the permanent collection reflect Texas’ diverse cultural heritage. Objects have a unique way of connecting people of the present with people of the past -- they offer a shared physical presence over space and time.

Donating Artifacts

The ITC welcomes inquiries about possible donations to our collections. We preserve a diverse assortment of objects which collectively help tell the stories of Texans.  In general, we only accept objects with a connection to Texas or Texans, from prehistory to the present. In some instances, objects which are representative of the cultural heritage of Texans are also considered, even if the direct Texas connection is not strong. 
All offers are evaluated by the museum’s Collections Committee to ensure the object fits into our collecting needs, is something we can commit to caring for, long-term, and is not an object which is already well represented.
Please do not bring or mail objects to the museum without first contacting us. The best way to initiate contact is by sending an email which includes as much information as you can about the object and attach a digital photo if possible. Email it to and include any additional information you may know about the who, where, and when of it, plus any stories about it you may know.

Demonstration and Hands-on Objects

The best way to teach someone about something is to involve them and let them experience it first-hand. In museums, including ours, artifacts are usually "don’t touch" and with good reason -- they need to be preserved for future generations. The ITC has active programs where "please touch" is the rule of the day, so we welcome inquiries about donating historic objects or replicas which can be used and handled, allowing someone to share an experience with someone of the past. If you have something you want used this way, send an email letting us know what you have. You might be able to provide a new "historic" experience for young Texans learning about the past.

Loaning Artifacts

We will consider loans of objects if they fulfill specific exhibit or research purposes, and the period of the loan is for a defined length of time.


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