Collections Policies

Collections Research

We currently have limited availability to respond to research inquiries and cannot host onsite appointments.  Following guidance from government and health officials, the Museum is closed in the interest of the health and safety of our MCNY community and the greater community at large.  In the meantime, please visit the online Collections Portal where you will find over 200,000 images from our collection; you can also review select collection finding aids at  While these do not yet represent the entire collection, researchers are encouraged to begin their research with these online tools.

If you would like to inquire about the possibility of making an appointment at some point in the future, you may fill out the Collections Access Request Form below.  Museum collections staff will be in touch if we are able to accommodate your request. Any questions not addressed by the form may be addressed to, which will be answered in the order received and based on staff availability

Please keep in mind the Museum does not have the staff or reference resources to assist patrons who wish to conduct general research into New York City history. If you have research of this nature, we suggest contacting the New York Public Library, the Municipal Archives (, or the New-York Historical Society.

Onsite Collections Access Requests

Licensing and Reproductions

To learn more about requesting high-resolution reproductions from the Museum’s collection for personal or commercial use, click here. You can also contact the office of Licensing and Reproductions, at 917-492-3375 or

Collections Loans

The Museum makes collections loans to qualified cultural institutions, domestically and abroad.  To learn more about this process, please email

Collections Acquisitions

The Museum is thankful for the many donations to the collection we have received over time; however, we cannot accept unsolicited donations or pass unsolicited donations on to another institution. 

If you have objects that you believe would complement our collections – either as donation or purchase -  please send a description (including the size, content, condition, historical significance and provenance), as well as photographs or scans of the objects to ( and indicate if you are offering it for gift or purchase.

Collections Management Policy

This Collections Management Policy documents the basic policies, procedures and practices that guide the development and care of the Museum’s collections consistent with the mission of the Museum and with professional museum standards.  Detailed policies and procedures may be issued from time-to-time, further implementing this policy. Through the Policy, the Museum shall ensure that:

  • its collections are accounted for and documented;
  • its collections are protected, secure, cared for, and preserved;
  • acquisition, disposal, and loan activities are conducted in a manner that conforms to the Museum’s mission, complies with applicable law, and reflects the highest ethical standards;
  • disposal of works from the collection through sale, gift, exchange, or other means is solely for the advancement of the Museum's mission, and proceeds from the sale of such works are used only for acquisition or direct care of collections;
  • access to the collections in the galleries, storage, and in the research room, and access to collection information is permitted and appropriately regulated; and
  • collection-related activities promote the Museum’s mission and the public good rather than individual financial gain.

Please click here to read the full policy.  Any questions should be directed to


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