Collections Policies

National Museum of Racing Policies Regarding the Museum Collection


Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Museum want some of my thoroughbred racing memorabilia for its collection?

The National Museum of Racing expands its collections primarily through the donation of objects. Donated materials must meet the following criteria in order to be accepted:

  • The objects must relate to the sport of Thoroughbred racing, either flat track or steeplechase. No harness racing materials can be accepted.
  • The Museum must be able to provide for the storage, protection and preservation of the objects using professionally accepted standards that ensure their availability for the Museum's purposes.
  • Duplicate objects will only be accepted if the condition of the object already in the collection has deteriorated to such a degree that exhibition of the object cannot occur.

Given space restrictions, not every donation can be accepted by the National Museum of Racing. All donations must be approved by the Collections and Exhibits Committee in order to be accepted into the Permanent Collection. Donors to the Museum Collection are required to sign a Deed of Gift that conveys the transfer of ownership rights to the Museum, including decisions on exhibition, conservation, reproduction rights (excluding copyrighted items), and dispersal.

If you have items that you would like to donate to the Museum Collection, please contact Museum Curator Jessica Cloer at (518) 584-0400 ext. 113 or

Does the Museum accept the donation of books and reference materials?

Yes, the National Museum of Racing also accepts donations to our John A. Morris Research Library, but they are not formally accessioned into the Museum's Permanent Collection. Donations of this kind are primarily used for research purposes, although some books or archival materials may be exhibited occasionally. Donors must sign a Library Donation Form to formalize the donation of reference materials (similar to the Deed of Gift mentioned above).

Please contact Museum Curator Jessica Cloer at (518) 584-0400 ext. 113 or if you have any reference materials you wish to donate to the Museum.

I have something I'd like to the donate to the Museum. Can I bring it in and drop it off for review?

No, the Front Desk staff cannot accept any items to be considered for acquisition.

If you have an item that you would be interested in donating to the Museum Collection, please contact Museum Curator Jessica Cloer at (518) 584-0400 ext. 113 or to discuss this potential donation and set up an appointment.

Will the Museum take my object on loan if I don't want to donate it?

Many institutions and individuals have generously loaned objects to the Museum. However, with rare exceptions, the Museum does not accept loaned objects for reasons other than immediate exhibition purposes.

Please contact Museum Curator Jessica Cloer at (518) 584-0400 ext. 113 or if you are interested in loaning an object to the Museum.

Does the Museum purchase objects?

The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame relies mostly on donated materials and rarely purchases items for the collection. However, you are welcome to submit an inquiry to the Museum about the potential purchase of an object that would complement our mission of preserving and exhibiting the entire spectrum of Thoroughbred racing in America. The inquiry should be sent in letter format to the attention of the Collections Manager, and must include an image of the object, the asking price, a detailed description including condition, and provenance information. All purchases must be approved by the Collections and Exhibits Committee, and a response to your offer will be sent to you as soon as a decision has been made.

How much is my object worth?

To find out more information concerning your object, particularly evaluation of condition, authenticity, and value, you will need to contact a professional appraiser who specializes in sporting art and memorabilia. Museum personnel cannot ethically or legally provide appraisal information for objects that could be donated to or purchased by the Museum.

The Museum has a listing of appraiser organizations on file that specialize in Thoroughbred racing memorabilia that is available upon request via Museum Curator Jessica Cloer at (518) 584-0400 ext. 113 or You can also search for an appraiser near you using the following resources:

If you have any additional questions or would like more information regarding any of the topics discussed above, please contact the curatorial department at (518) 584-0400 ext. 113.

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