Collecting artefacts from the United States

Hi, this is not directly related to our Collecting Cultures project however I think that the issues are relevant and (hopefully) someone in the cohort may have some knowledge!

We are currently in the process to acquire a uniquely important collection (on the history of women's football) from a private collector in the USA for the National Football Museum. It has been valued at £150,000. The collector (who died last week) and his family have been very keen that the collection goes to a good home. NFM has no experience of purchasing material from owners in the USA.

Can anyone advise on any issues relating to exporting the collection from the US - customs fees, legality etc.

Submitted by helen.mears@br… (not verified) on Mon, 02/23/2015 - 17:55


Hi John - we've already been in touch by email but just to note that my colleague, our Curator of Fine Art, Jenny Lund, dealt with the purchase of a painting sold by a US vendor. Do get in touch with her. Best of luck with the purchase! Helen.

Submitted by (not verified) on Fri, 03/13/2015 - 10:02


Hi John,

We bought material for our Collecting Cultures project on Inuit Art from Canada and also have experience of dealing with gifts from the US. There is help available from the HMRC web site on the import of cultural heritage items, which is very useful in ensuring that material isn't impounded or held up through customs. Our Registrar, Willow Silvani, may be able to offer further insights. Do get in touch.

Hope the acquisition goes smoothly. Best wishes, Heather

Submitted by johnosheauk@gm… (not verified) on Thu, 04/09/2015 - 23:45


Thanks Helen and Heather for suggestions - I will let you know how we get on!