The collection at The Amelia was founded by the Tunbridge Wells Natural History and Philosophical Society in 1885. We are very grateful to those who have donated items to add to our collections. Although we have a very comprehensive collection, some gaps still exist.
However, the costs of caring for our collections are high and it is important that we do not duplicate material or objects that fall outside our Collecting Policy. In view of this, we are not able to accept everything that it offered to us. Instead, we need to know more about the item(s) being offered before we can decide whether they are suitable for the collection.
How to donate
Contact The Amelia in writing or by telephone before bringing in your object(s)—contacting us in advance can help avoid disappointment.
If possible please send a photograph so that we can see what the object(s) looks like.
It may be that your object(s) is exactly what we have been looking for as it fits in with our Collecting Policy, is in good condition and has a full history. In this case it will be accepted into our permanent collection.
Or it may be that your object(s) would be useful for work with education groups for example, in which case, with your permission, it would not be accessioned but would form part of our important handling collection.
However, it may be that for a variety of reasons we cannot accept your offer. Please do not be offended. It could be that we already have a similar example in the collection. It could be that your object(s) is in a poor condition, is simply too big or that it is of a type that we do not collect (but another museum might). Our team will be able to advise you in this case.
Hopefully your object(s) is just what we are looking for, although it may not be put on display for a little while. The Amelia cares for thousands of objects, and exhibitions and displays have to be carefully planned, often years in advance.
Meanwhile, your object(s) will be carefully stored and may be drawn upon for special exhibitions or lent for exhibitions at other registered institutions. It will also be available for research, study, and education purposes.
- The Amelia does not accept objects on long-term loan.
- Objects are not accepted with specific conditions attached.
- Unless there are compelling and legitimate reasons, hazardous objects and substances will not be accepted under any circumstances (e.g. firearms, objects containing asbestos, explosive, flammable, poisonous, potentially carcinogenic or radioactive material).
- We cannot provide valuations.
- We cannot acquire material where current ownership is unknown or might be disputed.
- We cannot accept unsolicited donations through the mail or in person without prior acknowledgement and approval. We will be in contact to arrange for you to bring the items into The Amelia. The Amelia reserves the right to dispose of unsolicited items.
Collections & Assets Manager
Tunbridge Wells Borough Council
Mount Pleasant Road
Royal Tunbridge Wells