Artifact Donations and Loans

The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel appreciates generous donations and loans of archival materials to share civil rights history and forward the mission of the museum. For information about the museum's loan policy for both incoming and outgoing loans, call the collections department at (901) 521-9699.

Donations

Through generous donations and purchases, the museum actively collects archival materials, books, photographs, clothing/textiles, audio visual materials, fine art and historic objects. The museum's overall collection includes institutional history and educational objects and materials that are used in museum programming. The museum is honored to be stewards of original court records and physical evidence collected and compiled from the James Earl Ray criminal investigation of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from the district attorney general, Thirtieth Judicial District of Tennessee and Shelby County Criminal Court Clerk. The museum also maintains a long-term loan with the Tennessee State Museum.

Recent Acquisitions

The museum actively collects archival materials, books, photographs, clothing/textiles, audio visual materials, fine art and historic objects. Selected recent acquisitions are below. To learn more about these items, contact the collections department at (901) 521-9699.

Loan Process

Loaned materials may enhance a museum's exhibition or be used as an educational outreach tool at other museums and institutions. The National Civil Rights Museum actively loans its collection for exhibition and education programming to museums and historic institutions. It also welcomes incoming loans from institutions and private lenders. All loans are vetted by the museum's collections committee to determine approval or denial.

Incoming Loans. To initiate a loan to the museum, lenders will be required to complete the museum's loan agreement. The agreement details the loan time frame, loan value, care and handling responsibilities observed by the museum as well as insurance coverage, shipping arrangements, lender's proof of ownership and reproductions and credit instructions. A thorough physical review of the object's condition will be performed by the collections team to determine stability for exhibition and/or program use. The museum will not clean, restore or make any physical alterations without the written consent of the lender. Loans made to the museum will be for a specified time period with renewal possibilities confirmed and agreed upon by both the museum and lender. To prevent items from being stored at the museum's expense, the museum discourages long-term loans that are not actively being used. While the object is in the custody of the museum, the lender agrees not to misrepresent or inflate the objects' value nor use the museum as an endorsement.

Outgoing Loans. The museum shares its collection to other museums/institutions and welcomes loan requests. Loan requests should be in writing and should be sent to the director of education and interpretation or to the collections department at least two months prior to the loan date. The request must include the loan object or type, the purpose of the loan and time frame along with the institution's loan agreement. If the institution does not have a written loan agreement available, the museum's outgoing loan agreement will be used. The requesting museum or institution must show proof of insurance and submit a facility report, preferably the facility report issued by the American Alliance of Museums. Approvals for loan request are made by the museum collections committee.

For information about artifact donation or for the museum's loan policy for both incoming and outgoing loans, call the collections department at (901) 521-9699.