Collection Donations

At the NRM, we take care of our collections to the highest possible standard. However, this is a costly and time consuming exercise, and as such the Museum must be selective in what it chooses to accept. Items must be meaningful and make a significant contribution to the story that the NRM is trying to convey. We therefore need to discuss your proposed donation with you before accepting any items. We cannot accept items which have been stolen, illegally exported from their country of origin or illegally removed from archaeological, historic or significant sites. The overarching document that governs what we collect at the NRM is the National Railway Museum Collection Policy.

Donation Checklist

Please look over the checklist below to determine if your object is suitable for our collection:

  • Is the item related to Australian railway history? (necessary)
  • Can you describe what it is? (necessary)
  • Do you know who made it?
  • Do you know its history? (necessary)
  • Are there any personal stories associated with it?
  • Where did you get it from?
  • Can you confirm that you or the legal owner would be happy to transfer ownership of the item permanently to the NRM? (necessary)
  • Can you provide a digital image of it, including close up shots of any identifying marks?
  • Can you describe its physical condition, including whether it is in good/fair/poor condition?

If you can provide information for at least the four questions marked ‘necessary’, your item may be useful for the NRM.

Please note that we cannot guarantee your object will ever be on public display. The majority of collection material at the NRM will not be seen in exhibitions and displays due to limited space, but we do make our collections available to the public for research and education purposes. It is also important to be aware that once you have donated an item, it becomes the legal properly of the NRM and you cannot ask to have it returned to you.

If you would like to offer a donation to the NRM, please fill out the Donation Information Form and send it to the Curator and Business Manager. A response will be given as soon as practicable. Donations must be approved by the Curator - Collections or the relevant Collection Manager before being given to the Museum. Any item that has not been through that process will not be accepted.

If you would like more information, please contact Curator and Business Manager.


Leave A Gift To The National Railway Museum In Your Will

Please help us to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the Museum and learn about Australian railway history by including a bequest in your will.

pdfDownload the Bequest Flyer

Before finalising your bequest please make an appointment to discuss your plans, please contact Curator and Business Manager.

For more information, go to Join & Support

Visit the NRM

76 Lipson Street
Port Adelaide
South Australia  5015
Open Daily / 10am – 4:30pm





5-15 yrs & with an adult


2 adults & up to 3 children


  • Prices may vary for special events
  • EFTPOS is preferred payment method
  • Open from 12pm on ANZAC Day
  • Closed Christmas Day

Phone: 8341 1690

The National Railway Museum acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional owners and custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country. We aim to respect the cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.

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