Donate to the Collection
We are constantly growing our collection with the help of donations from the public. We collect artifacts, photographs, archival materials, and oral histories that document the diverse heritage of our seven county region, which includes Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, and Volusia.
We are especially seeking items related to the topics listed below. If you have any of these items and would like to donate them or allow us to scan them for preservation in our digital collection, we would love to talk with you!
- Anything related to the 1920 Ocoee Massacre, the largest voting-day massacre in United States history
- Grand Avenue School photos and memorabilia (This historic Orlando school is undergoing a transformation into a recreation center. Help us preserve its history by sharing your memories or donating your school photos and memorabilia.)
- A photo of the bakery at 116 S. Orange Ave., 1908-1914 (This business had several names, including the Hungerford Bakery and the Orlando Steam Bakery.)
- Documents or photos pertaining to Hiram Calder
- Memorabilia or photos from failed or closed tourist attractions
- Orlando City Directories from the years 1892-1906, 1908-1910, 1914-1920, 1927, 1942, 1944, 1952, 1984, 1992, or 1994-1996
Our mission is to preserve Central Florida history, not just Orlando, so we are on the lookout for anything tied to the history of Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Seminole, or Volusia counties.This includes:
- Oral Histories
- Business Records
- School Yearbooks
- Tourist Memorabilia
- Historic Signs
- Jackets and Uniforms
- Citrus Labels
- And so much more!
If it can help us tell the story of Central Florida, we would love to preserve it in our collection. And history doesn’t always mean “old.” We collect programs and memorabilia from important events that are happening every day.
My stuff isn’t good enough for a museum, is it?It might be! Items don’t need to be “valuable” in the traditional sense to have a place in a museum. For example, your family photos might include a historic building, or you might have a ticket stub from a Central Florida event that isn’t represented anywhere else in our collection. Even your memories or family stories of growing up in Central Florida could be helpful to future researchers. Find out more about recording an oral history.
The History Center will carefully preserve your materials and store them in our secure, climate-controlled museum-storage facility. We will also catalog your items in our database so that others can discover them by searching the collection online. Our collection is used to support research, teaching, public education, and exhibitions.
Donors can receive a high-quality digital scan to enjoy at home
If you donate photos or other items to the museum, our specialists can preserve them so the entire community can enjoy them for years to come. We will provide a high-quality digital scan or photograph that can be printed and hung on your wall at home. If you ever lose the digital file, or if a family member would like to have the image too, you can give us a call, and we’ll send you another copy.
Who has access to donated items?
Anyone can request a free appointment to view items in our collection. Depending on the stability of the items, researchers can examine them within the Joseph L. Brechner Research Center at the History Center under the supervision of the collections staff. Find out more about researching in the collection.