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Why You Shouldn't Donate Your Collection to A Museum
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April 9, 2022 - 4:29 am
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Here is a prime example of why you shouldn’t donate your firearms to a museum. Or if you do it better be the right museum.

https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search?page=2&edan_local=1&edan_q=winchester&edan_fq%5B0%5D=online_visual_material%3Atrue

Majority of the Winchesters in the National Museum of American History collection are not on exhibit and “Currently not on View”.

A lot of them are cataloged improperly and the digit catalog is mediocre at best. 

One of the past curators or employees must have been a complete idiot. They literally stamped the museum catalog number system right on the firearms, most of time on the stocks, with no attempt to be discreet with the markings. Why they couldn’t use a tag system? Beyond me. 

Basically you’ve got hundreds of Winchesters just sitting in a Museum warehouse collecting dust, never seeing the light of day.

They have two Henrys on display. One regular Henry Rifle and the other was presented to Abraham Lincoln, and that is practically it.

What a waste!

Maverick

P.S. But I guess you shouldn’t expect anything better from D.C.

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April 9, 2022 - 5:43 am
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Maverick said
Here is a prime example of why you shouldn’t donate your firearms to a museum. Or if you do it better be the right museum.

https://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/search?page=2&edan_local=1&edan_q=winchester&edan_fq%5B0%5D=online_visual_material%3Atrue

Majority of the Winchesters in the National Museum of American History collection are not on exhibit and “Currently not on View”.

A lot of them are cataloged improperly and the digit catalog is mediocre at best. 

One of the past curators or employees must have been a complete idiot. They literally stamped the museum catalog number system right on the firearms, most of time on the stocks, with no attempt to be discreet with the markings. Why they couldn’t use a tag system? Beyond me. 

Basically you’ve got hundreds of Winchesters just sitting in a Museum warehouse collecting dust, never seeing the light of day.

They have two Henrys on display. One regular Henry Rifle and the other was presented to Abraham Lincoln, and that is practically it.

What a waste!

Maverick

P.S. But I guess you shouldn’t expect anything better from D.C.  

I used to spend a lot of time in DC and have seen the Henry Rifle presented to President Lincoln on many occasions – always was in awe. It is elaborately engraved, serial #6 and mint. But, I have stood and looked at that gun for an hour before and watched other visitors just walk past and not pay any attention to it. Sure do have to agree with Maverick about the way many are cataloged and stamped. Those guns will never be on display because there are too many of them and no place to display them. There a quite a few guns, including Winchesters, in the new Musem of the American Indian, also in DC – the vast majority not showing much condition.

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April 9, 2022 - 1:34 pm
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Maverick,  I am surprised the firearms haven’t been auctioned off to convert them to cash for other purposes!  Most museums have as part of their agreement to accept any donated item they reserve the right to sell items if they have no immediate use for display or educational purposes.  Lacking any firearms expert on staff, they are indeed likely to do “inventory” controls that may result in damage and loss of value.  I would never donate any of mine!  Tim

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April 9, 2022 - 2:38 pm
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tim tomlinson said
Maverick,  I am surprised the firearms haven’t been auctioned off to convert them to cash for other purposes!  Tim  

You’re forgetting they’re owned by the federal gov’t, which converts paper to cash.  No doubt the adm. would like to see them “disappeared” merely to have use of that storage space, but their cash value probably wouldn’t cover a day’s operating expenses for the museum system.  And what do you think the gun-haters in Congress would say about the US gov’t promoting gun sales?

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April 9, 2022 - 5:17 pm
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I know there is some variability of how museums handle donations, knowledge of curators and so on.  I think in general, people who donate their firearms to a museum have a different idea in their head of what will happen, as compared to what usually happens.  

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April 13, 2022 - 11:25 pm
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Dr. Murphy who wrote THE book on confederate firearms left his entire collection worth probably millions to the Greensboro North Carolina Museum.  None of them are on display.  Everything is in storage with no plans for display and has been for many, many, years.  I fear they will never again see the light of day.Cry  

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April 13, 2022 - 11:38 pm
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wayne spears said
Dr. Murphy who wrote THE book on confederate firearms left his entire collection worth probably millions to the Greensboro North Carolina Museum.  None of them are on display.  Everything is in storage with no plans for display and has been for many, many, years.  I fear they will never again see the light of day.Cry    

Terrible decision–he surely knew there are museums devoted entirely to the history of the War for Southern Independence. 

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April 13, 2022 - 11:47 pm
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They can also sell or trade your guns if they want something else.

Bob

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April 14, 2022 - 1:38 am
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Actually there’s a museum where some of my guns may wind up….for a short time. NRA’s Whittington Center sells used guns in their gift shop, adjacent to the museum, and I believe many of the guns sold there are donated. I have several somewhat modern guns that will be homeless after I’m gone, may send a few before. I suppose some of my collectibles may wind up in the museum, if they don’t they’ll go to a lucky collector and the funds will support a range I sometimes call my second home. 

 

Mike

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