Common World War II Donations

What the Museum is Accepting


Axis Pistols. Yes, especially: Beretta Mo.34; Star Modelo B, Astra 300; Mauser C96; Browning Hi Power (with German Acceptance Stamps), Polish P-35 Radom, Walther Last Ditch Volkspistolen, Sauer M38. Steyr-Pistole M 12; Nazi marked Browning Hi power and an artillery Luger. There are regulations about mailing weapons and we are happy to assist you.

Axis Rifles. Yes, especially the Mauser for Mountain troops G33/40; naturally an FG42 would be super; a volks sturm rifle; K98 sniper rifles with optics, G-41s, last ditch VG (Volkssturmgewehre) rifles; Contract VZ-24 Rifle (Czechoslovakian); Manchurian Model 98 Mauser; Last Ditch rifles 1944-45 (National Rifle for Civilian Defense; Grenade Discharging Rifle); any Japanese Sniper Rifles with optics (Type 38,97,99 etc.); Tokarev SVT-40, issued extensively by Germany; and any Japanese Paratroop Rifles. The Museum currently has sufficient examples of the Japanese Type 38 and Type 99 Rifle. If you are in doubt of the type of rifle you have, send us a picture. There are regulations about mailing weapons and are happy to assist you.

Books and Periodicals. Some. Books written during or about World War II. We are specifically seeking the Saturday Evening Post, Infantry Journal, Artillery Journal, Motornews and specific issues of Time, Stars & Stripes (no ETO versions) and Yank. Please send a list of the titles you wish to donate.

Ephemera. Yes. Wartime ephemera such as brochures, postcards, leaflets, programs, theater tickets and souvenirs will be placed in our archival collection and treated as artifacts. We are not accepting post-war pamphlets and guides to wartime locations like forts, battle sites and memorials, nor postwar association publications.

DVDs. Yes, some commercial and non-commercial DVDs for our library. Please send a list before mailing DVDs.

Film. Some. Send us titles and a photo of the canister. Efforts will be made to transfer the film to a stable digital format, which might result in the loss of the original film; nitrate film will be transferred if possible then discarded for the safety of the collection.

Japanese Items, Non-weapon. Yes, we are collecting military and non-military items made in Japan during the war and occupation. Please send a photo.

Medals and Insignia. Some. Medals and insignia can be utilized for various purposes. If you submit them in a shadow box, we may disassemble the box to make better use of the individual medals.

News Articles. Post-war feature, internet and other published articles not directly related to the family or veteran’s WWII experiences are only accepted when accompanied by other original WWII materials.

Photographs, Letters and Journals. Yes! Please make the copies you need before sending us the originals. As for World War II service documents, we do not necessarily need originals. In fact, you will probably want the original Separation Papers and/or Discharge Papers. We will accept CDs, DVDs or good copies of wartime prints (though we prefer originals). Photocopies, low-quality copies and internet printouts are generally not suitable library donations on their own—only as backup personal information.

Ration Books. We are seeking ration book covers manufactured by private companies such as banks and others. They usually contain patriotic messages about their part in the war effort. Curatorial has many ration booklets and stamps, but our Education Department is still looking for ration books. The Education Collection might be brought to school groups to help them learn about World War II.

Reunion Materials. We accept a small amount of reunion materials to supplement original personal collections.

Scrapbooks. As each scrapbook is unique, they are evaluated for acquisition individually, but because they tell the personal stories of those who experienced World War II, most will be accepted into the collection. We do not collect scrapbooks full of newspaper clippings not directly related to you or your veteran. We might disassemble scrapbooks in a manner consistent with preservation methods; the original structure will be preserved through photocopies. Please do not assemble archival materials into a scrapbook before donating.

Service Documents. We will accept copies or original discharge papers that are accompanied by other donation materials, but we are not accepting copies sent without supporting collections.

Shadow Boxes. Some. Depending on the material contained within the shadow box, the Museum may or may not be able to accept it. Shadow boxes containing original medals, patches, insignia, dog tags, etc. will be accepted. Those containing post-WWII reissued medals and other material cannot be accepted. Please note that due to the acidic and harmful nature of most commercially available shadow boxes, the Museum will dismantle the box. Please see our FAQs for more information.

Uniforms. We are seeking a limited selection of uniforms worn while in performance of one’s World War II service, not necessarily uniforms only worn while on leave or issued upon discharge. Please send us a photo and service information.

Weapons. Please see "Axis Pistols" and "Axis Rifles."

Yearbooks, Unit Histories and Newsletters. Items printed during the war years will be placed in our archival collection and treated as artifacts; post-war books written about WWII will go in our library collection. Please ask curatorial staff before making or sending copies of unit histories and yearbooks, or before sending reunion newsletters or other reunion materials. Photocopies of published articles and printouts of internet pages are generally not suitable library donations on their own.


Books and Periodicals. Some. We are no longer accepting Blue Jackets manuals, Time Life Books or the Navy pictorial booklet or Life. We do not accept ETO versions of Time, Stars & Stripes, but we are looking for other specific issues. Please send a list of the titles you wish to donate.

Cots. We are no longer accepting cots.

Footlockers. We are not accepting empty footlockers without a personal story. We would like a list of items and/or representative photo before accepting footlocker contents.

Japanese Katanas or Samurai Swords. We are no longer accepting katanas or samurai swords.

Nazi Flags. The Museum no longer accepts Nazi Flags.

Newspapers. The Museum is no longer collecting Home Front newspapers. We have quite a large collection already, and know that the archives and microfilm of most large newspapers are housed in their specific cities for both research and imaging if needed. We also do not collect scrapbooks full of clippings not directly related to you or your veteran. We do accept newspaper clippings unless related specifically to you or your veteran.

VHS Movies. We do not accept VHS, DVD, or Blu-ray copies of commercially produced movies. WE DO accept personal oral histories recorded on all media.

Models (Tank, Ship, or Airplane). The Museum is unable to accept post war manufactured models or models built from kits. If you have WWII era built model, we may be interested though so please submit any photographs and information.

Nazi Daggers and Swords. The Museum is no longer accepting Third Reich daggers and swords.


Items accompanied by a World War II-era photograph of the person who collected the item, a personal account of any length and/or copies of available service documents are more likely to influence an item’s acceptance; however, every offer is judged on an individual basis. We are always looking for artifacts with a good story. Items offered for donation are reviewed by a collections committee.

Next Step