It can be said that collections are the foundation of our Museum. Visitors judge our Museum based on the quality of our collections, so in order to maintain the integrity of our Museum’s ‘holdings’, our collections have to reflect the purposes of our Museum.
Did you know that primary funding for the care and preservation of our artefacts comes from donations and grants to the Comox Valley Air Force Museum Association? Did you know that the majority of the artefacts on display in our Museum were donated by the public?
What kinds of donations are we looking for? We appreciate Logbooks, Air Force artefacts, Squadron artefacts (409, 414, VU 33, Snowbird, 407 and 442 Squadrons), uniforms, medals, artefacts from prominent west coast airmen, photos (with as much information as possible about the photos), as well as Squadron history books. In addition, personal/historical letters are very important to us.
I have an item I’d like to donate. How do I do this? If you live in the Comox Valley or are planning a visit to the Comox Air Force Museum, you can bring your item to the Museum. All our volunteers are trained to accept your gifts. You’ll help fill out a form that will give us some information about the item as well as the original donor.
If you live a distance from us, you can contact us at:
1 – 250 – 339 – 8162
We often get emails asking if we’d accept donations. We respond to these emails promptly, answering any questions you might have. If you indicate that you’ll be mailing items, we’ll not only let you know when your package arrives, but also that it will be set aside for the Collections Management Committee at our regular meetings. This is called ‘Accessioning’ and there is always deliberation about each item; each item is celebrated as a donation and our discussions centre around the importance of the history of the item, as well as how it may be used.
Not only do we discuss a donation at our Collections Management Committee meetings, but we also like to follow up with our donors. Our donors receive letters of thanks from our Museum. And, if communication has been via email, we follow up there as well.
Not too long ago, a donor let us know how much our process is valued, “Thank you for letting me know. I’m glad the material will have a safe home. I also recently received a letter of thanks from Capt. Lynn Barley. That was a nice touch. Thanks again for your professionalism. It was a pleasure dealing with you and as I said before if you have any questions at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me.”
How are some of the donations used in the Comox Air Force Museum? They may be put on permanent display in our Main Gallery. They may be used in our new display area as part of a rotating display. They may be used in a Museum website post.
Can my donation have another impact? If you’ve seen our website posts on Ernest Ivany or Arthur William Hammond, you might recall that the letters came to our Museum as donations. These letters have helped us understand life during the First and Second World Wars, at home and abroad. We’ve been able to share history with you and we’ve also been able to connect with the families of both Ivan and Hammond; this further enhanced our understanding.
It’s important to preserve our past, to learn from it as we move forward. We hope that you will consider donating items you might have that would help us continue to share history and that you would encourage others to do the same.