Donating an object to the Museum

If you have an object, photograph or collection (or know someone who has) that you feel would be of interest to the Downpatrick & County Down Railway, we would be happy to hear from you.

The DCDR is a fully accredited museum and actively collects objects and photographs relating to the Belfast & County Down Railway (BCDR) – from the smallest pamphlet to actual carriages! Items from Northern Ireland’s other railways can be accepted on merit.

We have always benefited greatly from donations by the railway’s many friends and supporters, as well as the families of former BCDR employees. In many instances an all-too common tale we have heard is of former employees who have passed away and discovered that many of their photographs and personal items from their time on the railway have been binned – and it’s only later that their relatives realise what a tragedy this was.

For personal photographs of family members, we are also willing to take copies of them and return the originals to you.

Why should I donate artefacts to the Museum?

Donating an artefact to the railway ensures that it will be preserved for future generations to enjoy. Objects from our collection will be exhibited to the public. History was not meant to be buried in a basement or hidden in an attic. The past should be shared, not hoarded away. In a registered museum, your items will be:

  • Stored in an appropriate environment
  • Preserved for the future
  • Available for education and enjoyment

Privately owned, items are often eventually:

  • Thrown away
  • Sold
  • Damaged
  • Destroyed

How to donate

Please do not bring objects into the Museum without having made a prior appointment with the curator. First, send us a letter or an email about your object, and include a photo so we can assess it.

From there, there’s a formal approvals process and you also might need to help our curator by giving them information about the object and where it came from.

Don’t be offended if we can’t accept your object: it might be that we have a similar object already, or it’s too big, or something that we don’t collect. We can always tell you why we can’t accept it, and suggest other museums that might be interested.

See our Contact Page for details of how to get in touch with us.