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Does Vermilionville accept unsolicited gifts, bequests of artifacts or other historical materials?

Yes.  Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park welcomes and solicits donations when such donations support the needs of the collections and the mission of the organization.  As not all historic items assist in the interpretation of the historic village, Vermilionville reserves the right to reject, prior to receipt, or to dispose of, after receipt and with signed confirmation of the donor, any materials deemed inappropriate for the collections. 

Vermilionville’s mission is to increase appreciation for the history, culture, and natural resources of the Native Americans, Acadians, Creoles, and peoples of African descent in the Attakapas region through the end of the 1800s.  Through historic interpretation and conservation along the Bayou Vermilion, we strive to educate guests on the interactions of these groups and the connections between past and contemporary folklife, thus empowering guests to apply these lessons from our shared histories.

Who do I contact to make a donation?

Please fill out the Vermilionville Prospective Donation Form and send photographs of your potential gift or bequest to Vermilionville’s Collections Manager at for consideration as Vermilionville cannot accept all donations.

Vermilionville cannot accept drop-off donations.  We want to make sure that your potential gift is properly identified and cared for so be sure to contact the Collections Manager before bringing your objects to Vermilionville.

What happens to an artifact after I offer it for donation to Vermilionville?

  • All objects offered for donation must go through a process of examination and review.

    After contact with the Collections Manager, the Curatorial Committee will meet to review the objects.  Limited storage space, duplication of objects in the collection, the condition of the offered piece, and very little or no known history of the object influence Vermilionville’s decision to accept donations.  Those not accepted will be returned to the donor if Vermilionville has possession of them through a Prospective Donation Form.  

    If accepted, the donor will receive Certificate of Gift paperwork which transfers legal title of the gift to Vermilionville.

    All donated artifacts are numbered, photographed, and cataloged in our database. 

How does Vermilionville handle potential donations of Native American objects?

Vermilionville Living History Museum & Folklife Park does not knowingly acquire any object(s) whose ownership or legality is questionable or whose circumstance of collection is unethical or contrary to the good practices and ethics of the museum profession.  Vermilionville follows the 1970 UNESCO convention  and other applicable antiquities statutes that prohibit the illicit import, export, and transfer of ownership regarding cultural property as well as the 1990 Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) which addresses the rights of lineal descendants, Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations to Native American cultural items, including human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony.  Vermilionville can only consider the acquisition of archaeological collections that adhere to the Standards of Research Performance as defined by the Register of Professional Archaeologists. 

Will Vermilionville display my artifact?

  • While Vermilionville strives to incorporate the various artifacts in accordance with its mission statement, the lack of sufficient exhibition space and interpretive limitations make displaying every artifact impossible. Artifacts chosen for exhibition must support the exhibit’s underlying educational purpose. While some artifacts may never be seen in an exhibit, they may prove invaluable to researchers. Therefore, Vermilionville cannot guarantee any artifact will be displayed either temporarily or permanently.

    Our aim is to preserve historical accuracy for the village and the artifacts within, so we do not inscribe artifacts on display or assign plaques with donor names for this reason. However, information about artifacts are kept both digitally and physically for future inquiries or interpretation.


Is my donation tax deductible?

  • Artifact donations may be deductible for tax purposes.  Potential donors should consult their tax advisors for further information.  If the donor is interested in a tax deduction, the donation must be appraised at the donor’s expense before bringing it to Vermilionville. Following the donation, the donor will receive a letter for tax purposes from the Bayou Vermilion District or the Friends of the Bayou Vermilion.

Will Vermilionville provide an appraisal for potential donations?

No.  Under present tax laws, establishing the donation value for tax purposes is the responsibility of the donor.  Vermilionville staff may not, as an interested party, provide an appraisal.

Does Vermilionville ever sell my artifacts?


Artifacts remain in the permanent collections of Vermilionville if they continue to be relevant and useful to the purpose and activities of the institution, and if they can be properly stored and preserved.  When these conditions no longer prevail, artifacts may be officially deaccessioned, or removed from the permanent collections, by disposal.

The procedure for disposing of artifacts is explicitly described in Vermilionville’s Collections Management Policy.  Artifacts will not be given, exchanged, or sold privately to employees of the Museum, members of the governing authorities or to their representatives, members of Museum support groups, or volunteers.  

Methods of disposal may include the following:

  1. If donor-imposed conditions restrict a deaccession, the Museum may return the object to the donor or donor’s family in lieu of disposal.
  2. The object may be transferred from Permanent Collection to Vermilionville’s Educational Collection where it can be used for hands on activities. 
  3. The object may be transferred to another institution, if one can be located that will accept the object. This would be an institution with a similar collecting area (e.g.: if a maritime related object, a maritime museum would be most appropriate).
  4. The object may be sold.  This includes the sale of the object at public auction or by tender. This ensures the best fair market price for an object.  Proceeds will only be used for direct care of permanent collections. 
  5. The object may be disposed of.  Disposal of the object is only considered for an object if it is in very poor condition or has irreparable damage.  Disposal is defined as a situation whereby the object would be simply placed in the garbage after sufficient documentation has been procured and created and would only be used as a last resort.

Vermilionville will permanently preserve records and information regarding deaccessioned objects, their deaccession review including the reasons for deaccession, their deaccession status, and method of disposal.

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