Ensure a part of Cortland County’s future
by helping us preserve its past

Please consider making a donation today.


The Cortland County Historical Society preserves the history of Cortland County in its artifacts, archives, and programs. By donating, you help preserve and tell the stories of Cortland County’s rich history and its influence on our lives today.

The Cortland County Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization; all gifts to the historical society are tax-deductible.

Cortland County Historical Society receives no operational funding from city, county, state, or federal government. The Cortland County Historical Society is funded entirely by memberships, donations, research fees, grants, gift shop sales, and our fundraising efforts.

 Memorial Donations

Memorial gifts may be made online via the donate button or you can call 607.756.6071.


Object donation form


Object Donations FAQ

Gifts such are yours are a key part in helping Cortland County Historical Society achieve its mission of preserving and sharing the history of Cortland County. Click on each question below to find more information about whether CCHS is the right fit for your potential donation, and what you can expect to happen when you do donate!

How can I donate objects, images, or documents to CCHS?

If you have material that you believe would add to the Cortland County Historical Society collection, please first contact us via email (info@cortlandhistory.org) or phone call (607-756-6071) to discuss your potential donation. You may also stop by during open hours to speak with a staff member.

To provide information about the items you would like to offer to CCHS please fill out a Potential Acquisition Questionnaire, being as detailed as possible. The Collections Committee, which generally meets monthly, will assess your potential donation for a decision. If the Committee decides to accession some or all of the items, you will be contacted by a representative at which time you may drop off or send your accepted donation to CCHS and complete a Deed of Gift to officially transfer ownership.

In the event that you would like to drop off a donation before a decision is made, you must additionally fill out the Temporary Custody Agreement. Access the form through the previous link or ask for one to be filled out upon your visit to CCHS. 

It can be difficult to properly house and preserve historical objects and records without the right materials. As a not-for-profit, funding for these materials is not always available so please consider including a monetary donation along with your object donation to go toward its care and keeping. 

What kinds of donations is CCHS looking for?

CCHS collects artifacts, papers, photographs and publications that support its mission of preserving and sharing Cortland County heritage.

Currently, we are seeking to fill gaps in our collections, including clothing items from the 1960s-present. Remember: it may not feel like a piece of history yet, but it might be one day!

What kinds of items is CCHS NOT looking for?

  • Items with little or no connection to Cortland County.
  • Duplicate items such as 3rd, 4th, or 5th copies- we would like to check our collections before you donate!
  • Conditional donation offers (i.e. cannot be available for research for a specified period of time).
  • Materials that may pose a threat to the building or collections: chemicals or obvious presence of active mold/pest infestations.
  • Calendars or Bibles; we would however like any family information that might be contained in Bibles.
  • Wedding dresses.
  • CCHS publications (“Journey Through Time”, “Cortland County Chronicles”, etc.).

If you were considering donating an item that is particularly unique but is included in the above list, please reach out to us via email or phone.

Why wasn’t my donation accepted by CCHS?

All potential donations must go through a review process to assess the relevance and suitability of items in relation to the overall collecting policies and current holdings of CCHS.
Because it requires considerable resources to care for and provide access to collection items, CCHS cannot accept all potential donations.

Will CCHS display items in my donation?

At this time, we cannot guarantee that your donation will be displayed, however we are working hard to ensure that more of our unique collections are shared with the public.


For additional information, see our Collections Management Policy:

Collections Management Policy