Collections Policies

Collections Research

As we work to make our collection more accessible to more people, please visit the online Collections Portal where you will find a selection of over 200,000 images from our collection

The Museum does not currently have the resources to answer remote inquiries. 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.

We will update this text when we have the resources to respond to research inquiries.

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

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 either by mail or in-person nor can we pass unsolicited donations on to another institution. Materials sent unsolicited will be considered abandoned, and the Museum reserves the right to dispose of such property as it sees fit. 

If you have objects that you believe would complement our collections, 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 view the full policy.  Any questions should be directed to


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