Collections

The purpose of the Muhammad Ali Center collection is to acquire, preserve and manage the documentary, photographic, artistic, film, audio, video graphic, electronic record, and three dimensional items of Muhammad’s Ali’s life and career (s) as an athlete, humanitarian, and public figure. The Muhammad Ali Center uses its collection in order to implement the Center’s mission as an educational and advocacy organization.

The educational, cultural, and scholarly purposes for which the collection is gathered are of primary importance in its use. The collection is available for use in the Center’s exhibition, education, research and print and electronic publication programs. When accompanied by staff, it is available for inspection by scholars, specialists, representatives of educational and cultural institutions, and by interested members of the public.

Donate an Item to the Collection

If you have items to donate, please start by reading our Donation FAQ found below.

Please note, the Ali Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit and does not purchase items for our collection.

For any further questions, or to continue the donation process, contact archive@alicenter.org.

Muhammad Ali Center Collections Department Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Does the Museum accept everything that is offered for donation?

A: According to our Mission Statement, the Museum collects items relating to the legacy of Muhammad Ali. If your donation does not pertain to our Mission Statement, the Staff will make suggestions for a more appropriate home for your artifact(s).

Q: Does the Ali Center purchase items?

A: The Ali Center is a 501©3 non-profit and does not purchase items for our collection. If you have an item that you would like to donate to the Center, please make an appointment by emailing archive@alicenter.org.

Q: Where should I start?

A: For all objects, books, photographs, and other paper materials, contact the Museum. They will discuss your donation with you and will decide if it is something that fits into the Museum’s collection. If it does, they will ask you to make an appointment to bring it for further review. Email: archive@alicenter.org

Q: Should I just drop off my donation?

A: We ask that you email and make an appointment. Email: archive@alicenter.org

Q: What is a Temporary Custody Agreement? How is it different from a Deed of Gift?

A: When you drop off a potential donation, you will be asked to fill out a Temporary Custody Agreement. This form indicates that you have left something at the Museum for consideration. This is the first step in the donation process. The donation is not official at this time. Once the  Center accepts the donation, you will be sent a Deed of Gift in the mail to sign and return. This is the legal document that officially transfers ownership from you to the Museum. Once the Deed of Gift is signed, the donation process is complete.

Q: Why do I have to fill out paperwork for my donation?

A: All donations MUST have signed paperwork in order become part of the Museum’s collection. The donor may choose to remain anonymous, but we still must have signed paperwork in order to prove that the item belongs to the Museum, no matter how small the donation.

Q: What if I change my mind?

A: Once the Deed of Gift has been signed, donations cannot be returned to the donor. Please do not offer items for donation to the Museum if you are not sure that you want to donate.

Q: What will the Museum do with my donation once it is accepted?

A: Your donation may be placed in the Permanent Collection or the Teaching Collection. Donations to the Permanent Collection are designated for preservation. These items are handled and processed according to the highest museum standards by trained professionals and are exhibited only under safe and secure conditions. Items in the Teaching Collection are used for educational purposes will be utilized in special programs including school tours, education classes, summer camps, demonstrations, and other education activities.

Q: When will my donation be on exhibit?

A: Space limitations and conservation concerns dictate that we cannot exhibit all of our artifacts at once. There are many objects that should not be exhibited frequently in order to protect them from handling, exposure to light, and other potentially harmful things. However, exhibitions are not the only way a Museum utilizes an artifact. Occasionally, collections are made available, by appointment, for study by scholars and members of the public.

Q: Will the Ali Center exhibit my art/ how do I get my artwork exhibited at the Ali Center?

A: The Ali Center only accepts loaned art for the purpose of a specific exhibition. If you have a piece that may be of interest please email archive@alicenter.org. The Curation staff will keep your information on file and may contact you for a future exhibition.

Q: Do you accept long-term loans?

A: No, the Museum does not accept loans of this type. Due to limited storage space, we cannot care for artifacts that are not owned by the Museum. Loans are accepted for specific purposes only for a specified period of time.

Q: Will my donation ever be loaned to someone else?

A: Artifacts from the Permanent Collection may be loaned to other museums or cultural institutions, but only those that adhere to the same high standards of professional museum
practice. Items are not loaned to individuals. Also, it is mandatory that other institutions provide insurance for all items that are loaned.

Q: Can I take a tax deduction on my donation?

A: Certainly! The Code of Ethics written by the American Association of Museums (AAM) and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) prohibits museum professionals from engaging in
appraisal-related activities. For your own records, we recommend that you obtain an independent appraisal. Your signed Deed of Gift serves as proof of your donation for tax purposes. We suggest consulting a certified tax consultant for donations valuing over $5,000.

Q: Will the Ali Center appraise my item or memorabilia?

A: The Ali Center cannot legally appraise art, antiques or artifacts and does not offer this service to guests, potential donors, researchers, etc.

Q: Where can I find an appraiser and/or conservator?

A: The Muhammad Ali Center does not endorse any of the companies listed below. You can contact the following companies to find an appraiser and/or conservator

International Society of Appraisers
Seattle, WA 206.241.0359
New York, NY 212.889.5404
www.isa-appraisers.org

American Society of Appraisers
Virginia 703.478.2228
www.appraisers.org

American Association of Appraisers
Washington, D.C. 800.272.8258

American Institute for Conservations (A.I.C.)
Washington, D.C. 202.452.9545
www.aic.stanford.edu

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