One Big Mistake to Avoid When Donating to a Museum Collection

Jun 20, 2018 0 comments
While volunteers working at Boggo Road Gaol Museum late one afternoon back around 2004, a couple of people from Toowoomba turned up and asked if the old prison laundry baskets they had recently donated to the museum were out on display yet. The staff informed them that there were no such baskets in the collection, but the visitors were insistent that somebody from the museum had turned up to their house to collect these baskets. The volunteers knew nothing about this, but when the visitors described the collector to the staff, a clearer picture emerged

The visitors had advertised the baskets for sale, and someone had turned up asking for them to be donated to the museum instead, which is what they thought they did. They had been scammed.

If you or a family member has some old prison artefacts at home (uniforms, photos, paperwork, prisoner-made items, bits of a prison building... anything), then this is the kind of story you need to keep in mind. Please be careful, and thoroughly check who is asking about it.

If you are concerned about what might happen to your prison stuff in future and don't want to see it thrown in the bin (or some shyster to get their hands on it) then your best bet is to donate into the care of the not-for-profit Boggo Road Gaol Historical Society so they can add it to the Queensland Prisons Collection.


Please be aware that some organisations requesting your artefacts and stories are private companies who may use them for personal profit by restricting free access to the material and then prohibiting other researchers from using it.

It is also possible that items you donate could later be sold.

The BRGHS is a not-for-profit incorporated association and cannot use your donations for personal profit.

Please email us if you are not sure about people requesting donations from you.

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