Note: This page is for those wishing to donate items. If you wish to make a financial donation, please see our Make a Donation page for details on ways you can do that.
Donations suspended due to storage reorganisation
Unfortunately the museum has suspended taking general donations at the present time to allow our storage facilities to be reorganised over the coming months. However, we still welcome receiving emails detailing your donation as you may have a rare or historically important artefact that we would still be able to accept.
During this time we may only respond to your email if it is something we feel is important for us to have in our collection. So if you don’t get a reply within 2 weeks please consider other museums for your donation:
The Museum of Computing - based in Swindon.
The Centre for Computing History - based in Cambridge
The Retro Computer Museum - based in Leicester
The IBM Hursley Museum (for IBM related items only)
If you have already received a reply accepting your donation, this will still be honoured.
What sort of items do we want?
We welcome equipment donations of all computer hardware, software, books, magazines, documentation and tools. When we accept donated items into the collection, it will be under two possible categories:
Heritage: Items that are rare, unique or require special attention and care will be accessioned to our special heritage collection. These items may be put on display but will not normally be usable by the public, restored to working order or used as spares to keep other systems working.
Interactive: Items that are not rare or where we hold a number of similar items, will be accessioned to the Interactive handling collection. These items will be available to be used by visitors to the museum, put on display, used in exhibitions or for spares to keep existing systems operational.
Scroll down to see the list of items we are currently particularly interested in.
What do I do if I have a potential donation?
Due to the specialist nature of dealing with donations, please email us in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are unable to deal with potential donations over the phone or on an ‘ad-hoc’ basis if you just turn up at the museum.
You will receive an automated reply to your email explaining more about our process of assessment and acceptance. Queries about potential donations are handled by a team of volunteers, and due to the volume and complexity of enquiries it may take a week or two before you receive a further reply from us, so please be patient.
What do I need to tell you about my items?
When you email us please can you give us as much information about the donation and its background as possible including (if you know) where it was used, when it was used and who used it.
Please include any pictures you can of your items. Pictures are useful to speed up the donation process so we can see what you have and assess its condition.
What happens next?
One of our volunteer experts will contact you about your items to find out any more we need to know. Once we have all the information we need, we will make a decision about whether we can accept your potential donation.
If we can accept some or all of your donation we will arrange a date and time for you to come to the museum with your item(s).
If, for some reason, we are not able to accept some or all of your donation, we are still very interested and will try and offer you alternative museums who may be interested! Please do not be offended – we only have limited storage space but would like the opportunity to consider your items, so please do get in touch if you think you have something of interest.
What sort of thing are we looking for?
This is not a definitive list but gives you an idea of the sorts of things we are interested in. If your item is not included in this list, please contact us at email@example.com if you think we would be interested.
Educational / Creative software - for 8 / 16 bit micros
Ephemera, software and documentation related to significant domestic computer / electronic products and programmes
Books and computer related magazines from the 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s including system manuals Note: current storage limitations mean we cannot accept large collections of books or magazines at the moment but smaller / single items should be OK
If you are an author or publisher of a computer related book, a donated copy for our library would be gladly received.
Software for older systems
We are also looking for software to run on the older systems we have working / on display in the Museum. The systems we are particularly interested in are: Elliott 803, 903, ICL 1900/2900, ICL System 25, IBM 1130, WITCH / Harwell Dekatron Computer, ICT 1301, but we welcome software for others. The programs can be on paper tape, punched cards, tape, disc or even a printed listing. Why not come along with your software and see it running again!
We would especially welcome software for older Research Machines systems like 380Z / 480Z.
Any system software; Compilers, Assemblers, engineer test programs, demonstration programs.
Any user written software, especially if it can produce output to printers, plotters etc. and thus be good for demonstrating the systems capabilities.
Unusual programming languages such as MIRFAC
Old MoD computers such as COSMOS and AMOS
MOSAIC which was a direct descendant of Pilot ACE built by GPO for RRE
Description of the Culham GHOST graphics library for KDF9.
This list will be updated fairly regularly so please check back often. Last updated September 2019.