Donating or Selling Objects to The Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection
The Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection (the Archive) is dedicated to the conservation of maritime heritage and nautical culture, and to research and education in the field of marine history and ethnology and necessarily extend to associated subject matters including aeronautical, miltary and biographical content. To do this the Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection acquires, displays and preserves representative books, revues, magazines, documents, photographs, artwork, technical drawings, and other artifacts of our maritime history. Some of these come from businesses and corporations, but many more are donated or sold to the Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection by individuals like you.
We appreciate your interest in helping to preserve our heritage and build our collections, whether through donation or sale. The following questions and answers give an overview of the process.
What happens when I offer something to the Archive?
When you contact us to offer something, a well established acquisition policy is followed. First, a curator determines whether the Archives requires the object for its collections and, depending on the nature of your offer, may assess its value. Such information as author's name, publisher, edition, or provenance (who owned it or other historical associations of special interest) all help the curator compare the object with the Archive's current holdings and decide how it may fit into the story of maritime development in Canada. Since documenting, cataloguing, preserving and storing artifacts is very costly, the Archive only attempts to collect examples of documents that enter into our General Policy guidelines.
What is the difference between a donation, a donation with a tax receipt, and a sale?
Donation: If you make an outright donation to the Archive, you have transferred ownership of the object to the Archive without receiving any payment or other benefit.
Donation with a tax receipt: Under the Income Tax Act, the Archive may issue you a receipt for income tax purposes for the fair market value of the object you have donated. The curator may assess the value of the object, but if this value is above a certain limit set by Canada Revenue Agency (usually $1,000), one or more independent appraisers may need to be consulted to establish the fair market value. Please see our tax credit page.
Sale: You may also sell the object to the Archive. You will then be expected to provide a sales invoice, dated and signed by the owner, indicating the agreed purchase price.
How is "fair market value" determined?
For income tax purposes, fair market value is the amount something would sell for in an open market between a willing buyer and a willing seller who are both knowledgeable, informed, and prudent and who are acting independently of each other. It may take a few weeks to several months or longer to determine the fair market value, depending on the nature of the object and the availability of appraisers with the required expertise. Income tax legislation does not permit you to include taxes or customs duties as part of the value.
To learn more about the tax implications of a donation or sale (when you may realize a capital gain) you should ask Revenue Canada for the relevant tax bulletins or consult your financial advisor.
What special provisions apply to "significant cultural property"?
If you donate an item of exceptionally high value or cultural significance (beyond specified limits that depend on the age, type and origin of the object), the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board may issue a tax receipt that allows you to deduct 100 per cent of the value of the donation from your income. In such cases the Archives will apply on your behalf to have the artifact designated as a "significant cultural property." Application may be made only after the formal transfer of ownership.
What is the role of the Accessions Committee?
If a curator concludes that an object should be added to the collections, he or she develops a proposal and makes a recommendation to the Accessions Committee. This recommendation must be accepted by the Accessions Committee before the object may be added to the collections and the Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection can issue payment or a tax receipt.
How is ownership formally transferred to the Archive?
If the Naval Marine Archive – The Canadian Collection agrees to purchase the object you have offered, you will need to issue a sales invoice. You may also be required to prove that you own the object or have authority to transfer it to the Archive.
In the case of a donation, transfer of ownership is formalized by a gift agreement, which states:
What recognition do donors receive?
Once an object has been acquired for the collections it becomes the property of the Archive, which may store, display or interpret it according to our established practices.
Donors' names are listed each year in the Archive's Annual Report, unless anonymity has been requested. When documents are archived the names of donors are recognized in accordance with Archive's policy and practices. You may not place special conditions on the way the Archive displays or labels your donation - except that of anonymity.
In the case of purchased documents, the name of the source is retained in the Archive's confidential records. The seller is usually recognized on labels or in publications only if he or she has played a significant role in the authorship or publication of the document.
When are artifacts removed from the collection and what happens to them?
Curators periodically assess the collections and may decide to remove from the collections (deaccession) documents or artifacts that no longer serve the Archive's goals or policy. A document may be deaccessioned because of duplication. The Accessions Committee must approve deaccessioning before any object is removed from the collection. If a curator recommends deaccessioning a particularly valuable object, its disposal must be approved by both the committee and the Archive's Board of Directors.
Objects approved for deaccessioning are first offered to other Canadian archives and museums. If other organizations express no interest, the objects are disposed of in accordance with accepted charitable practices.
How can I get more information?
For more information on how you can become a donor to our institution, please contact us at: