Make a Donation
The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society depends almost entirely on the generosity of donors to grow the collection. On average, the museum adds around 500 objects to its collection annually.

By donating artifacts to the museum you:

• support the preservation of the South Dakota story

• help the museum tell our great state’s history through that artifact in our nationally recognized exhibits

• make another piece of information available to researchers.

• ensure that the items will be cared for to benefit present and future generations

Artifacts not on display are available for family or public viewing with prior notice.

No museum has unlimited resources, and no museum can collect everything. Therefore, the museum is selective in what it collects. The museum staff evaluates donation submissions monthly. The staff adheres to the guidelines set forth in the museum’s collections policy to determine if an object matches the criteria required for the piece to become a part of the collection.

As a rule, the museum collects artifacts that relate to the human history of South Dakota. These artifacts could be 100+ years old, or made yesterday. The museum does not collect large transportation items, large agricultural equipment, archaeological or natural history specimens, or any item that may violate state, federal, or international law.

The museum only accepts donations free of conditions or restrictions. Examples of restriction or conditions include an item must always be on display, must be displayed or stored as a group, or that the museum may never get rid of it if need be. Restrictions and conditions eliminate the flexibility the museum needs to function professionally, and can have hazardous ramifications for the artifact.

As a donor, you may be able to take a tax deduction for all or a portion of the fair market value of your gift. The museum does not provide appraisals for any items, under any circumstance. The museum will provide information on how to find an appropriate appraiser.

Make a Donation
If you are interested in making an artifact donation to the museum please contact
Jay Smith, State Museum Director
(605) 773-3798

By mail:
South Dakota State Historical Society
Attn: Jay Smith
900 Governors Drive
Pierre SD 57501

Please also complete the object history form for each object and send or e-mail it to the museum.


900 Governors Dr.

Pierre, SD 57501


f: 605-773-6041