Donate Items to the Museum Archives and Collection

The MacArthur Memorial’s mission is to present the life and times of General Douglas MacArthur to the citizens of and visitors to the City of Norfolk through the collection, preservation, study and exhibition of relevant documents, artifacts, supporting materials, educational activities, and archival research. The Memorial also pays tribute to the millions of men and women who served with General MacArthur in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.  These principles guide the collecting strategy of the Memorial and determine what we can accept into our collections.

If you are interested in donating artifacts and/or historical documentation to the MacArthur Memorial, we sincerely appreciate considering us as a potential repository for your items. Please review the following points to determine if the MacArthur Memorial is the appropriate institution for your intended donation.

In 1961 General MacArthur executed a deed of gift in which he gave the City of Norfolk all his trophies, medals, prizes, decorations, uniforms, flags, swords, battle souvenirs, personal papers, documents, records, and other personal memorabilia. Since that time, the MacArthur Memorial’s collection has grown and is organizationally divided into two primary types of collections – the Archives & Library and the Museum (artifacts) Collection.

Our Process

With limited space and resources, the MacArthur Memorial’s goal is to grow the collection primarily where gaps exist in our current collection. Therefore, we are unable to accept items that duplicate those already in our collection. Because General MacArthur’s career in the U.S. Army spanned from 1903 to 1951, the MacArthur Memorial considers acceptance of items relating to his service in the Philippines, World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. We also consider donations relating to those who served in the Armed Forces during these timeframes. Considering General MacArthur’s role as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in the Southwest Pacific Area during World War II we limit acceptance of items to those with strong connections to the War in the Pacific. In addition, we also consider items with strong connections to General MacArthur’s post-Army years.

For more detailed information on General MacArthur’s history, please see: Who is MacArthur? 

The MacArthur Memorial also considers items relating to the service of General Douglas MacArthur’s father, Arthur MacArthur, Jr., due to the influence that his father’s career in the U.S. Army had on Douglas MacArthur. Arthur MacArthur, Jr.’s service in the U.S. Army spanned from 1862 to 1909. Arthur’s Army career began during the Civil War and concluded after the Spanish-American War and subsequent command in the Philippines.

If you have items that fall within these criteria and would like to donate them, please read the following guidelines:

  • Please DO NOT mail or drop off items you are interested in donating to the Memorial without prior written acknowledgement and approval by MacArthur Memorial staff.
  • The MacArthur Memorial does not review or appraise historical documentation (personal records, newspapers, photographs, manuscripts) and/or artifacts as a service for the public. Professional appraisers perform these services for a fee. The MacArthur Memorial suggests contacting the following organizations before you donate to assist with finding professional appraisers in your local area:
  • Appraisers Association of America
  • American Society of Appraisers
  • International Society of Appraisers

* Please note that these suggested organizations do not imply the MacArthur Memorial’s endorsement of them. We also recommend that you research reputable organizations in your area, when possible.                                       

  • Once a donation offer is received, the MacArthur Memorial’s Collections Committee will review. Items that meet the Memorial’s mission, and it is determined that they will fill needed gaps in our Archives and/or Museum Collection, the Archivist or Curator will contact the Donor to confirm acceptance. 
  • Once donations are accepted, they become the property of the MacArthur Memorial. Donors should understand that they are gifting their items to the MacArthur Memorial as unrestricted donations. All donations are considered outright and unconditional gifts to be used at the museum’s discretion.
  • MacArthur Memorial staff cannot make promises to display donated items immediately. However, Memorial staff will make every effort to contact Donors when the items donated are exhibited. 
  • When it is necessary to decline a donation, Memorial staff will make every effort to provide recommendations for alternative repositories whenever possible.