The KMA collects, organizes, interprets and displays the material and recorded history of Kamloops and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. The institution's holdings are divided into two parts: an Archives comprised of historical records, and a Museum Collection made up of historical artifacts.
The Archives has a collection of well over 10,000 photographs, and a vast selection of documents including journals, maps, property records, and over 100 years of local newspapers on microfilm. The Museum Collection consists of more than 20,000 objects that range from rocks to textiles, skateboards to taxidermy.
KMA collections have been developed through donations from a range of communities for the purposes of conservation, research, and public display. They continue to be honed to better reflect the natural and cultural heritage of Kamloops and the surrounding region.
Donating materials to the KMA helps ensure their long-term preservation and relevance in the community. The KMA gratefully accepts objects and records that have a clear and obvious connection to Kamloops. Materials that support research, present opportunities for display, or otherwise meet the terms of our collection management policy, may be accessioned into the KMA and become part of the Archives or Museum collections.
A successful donation requires preparation on the part of the donor. A crucial first step is to email or call the KMA at email@example.com or (250) 828-3576. The Museum may ask for information surrounding an item(s), including its history or purpose, its condition, or the context in which it was acquired. Sometimes photographs are requested.
If an item seems appropriate for inclusion in the collections, arrangements will be made for the donor to bring it to the museum. The museum will typically take temporary custody of the item until it can reach a final decision whether or not it will be formally accessioned and become the property of the KMA. Reaching this decision may take as long as several months.
This process is intended to uphold transparency, ethical standards, and efficient use of the time and effort of both donors and the KMA.
Common reasons people bring items to the KMA for donation include, "this thing is very old," or, "this thing is very beautiful," or, "this thing is very important to me". These are good reasons! The KMA, however, has limited storage space and wants to make sure that everything it houses helps underwrite its purpose to collect, organize, interpret, preserve and share the cultural evidence of this region.
With that in mind, the following criteria are used to assess prospective items for the KMA collections:
- The item aligns with the KMA mandate and is supported by information such as maker, use, location, and relevance to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
- The item's provenance or chain of ownership can be authenticated by reliable documentation.
- The item supports research or presents useful opportunities for display.
- The item is in adequately stable condition and does not pose safety risks.
- Facilities are available to store and care for the item.
- No stipulations are attached to use of the item, including copyright and intellectual property rights or potential disposal.
- The KMA can to secure clear, unconditional legal title, including copyright, intellectual property rights, moral rights, rights for disposal, etc.
- The item is not a duplicate of an item already in the collections (unless there is a curatorial or educational rationale).
Unless expressly requested through an appropriate consensual model led by an Indigenous cultural institution, the KMA does not accept items that have come from Indigenous communities or are expressions of Indigenous ways of being.
The KMA will, where it can, help with efforts to repatriate an item to its Nation of origin.