Starting in 1890, Issei (first generation) came to the Santa Clara Valley in search of work. In 1900, Japanese Americans established Japantown, a place for them to meet their social, cultural and economic needs in a society hostile to their presence.
535 North Fifth Street
San Jose, California 95112
Phone (408) 294-3138
FAX (408) 294-1657
JAMsj welcomes donations of artifacts/documents of historic or cultural significance that add to the depth of our collection. Procedures for donating artifacts to JAMsj are provided below.
What materials does the Museum collect?
The Japanese American Museum of San Jose's (JAMsj) mission is "to collect, preserve and share Japanese American history, culture and art with a focus on the Greater Bay Area." Our collection is extremely diverse and includes three-dimensional artifacts, art, documents, personal papers, life histories, photographs, books, and films that were created by, owned, used by, or that illustrate the Japanese American experience from the mid-1800s to the present. Almost all of the objects in the collection have entered through the generosity of individuals and communities, making the collection one that truly reflects the diverse experiences of Americans of Japanese ancestry.
May I donate artifacts to the Museum?
JAMsj is delighted and honored that you are considering donating artifacts to our collection. First, read the above paragraph related to JAMsj's mission to see if your artifacts help illustrate or interpret the Japanese American experience.
My artifact is consistent with JAMsj's mission, so how can I proceed to donate?
First, please fill out the Donation Information Form and provide basic information about the artifact(s) that will help us determine its suitability for inclusion in the Museum's collection. Please be as detailed as possible. In addition, please include a photograph of each item taken alongside a ruler so we can get an idea of how large the artifact is.
Second, fill out two copies of the Deed of Gift Form. One copy will be kept on file at JAMsj, and the other copy is for your records. Please note that JAMsj is a non-profit 501(c)(3), and as such, donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. JAMsj's Federal Tax I.D. is 77-0229249.
Both forms can be obtained at JAMsj. The forms can also be downloaded from the links provided at the bottom of this page.
Is it necessary to complete these forms in order to donate?
Because of the high volume of offers made to the Museum, all collection offers should be submitted in writing by completing the Donation Information Form. We regret that we cannot consider a donation without completed forms that describe what is being donated, why it is culturally significant, and which transfers ownership of the artifact from you to JAMsj.
After I donate, what will happen to my artifacts?
The information you provide on the Donation Information Form will help our Collections Committee determine what to do with your artifacts. The Committee will consider the artifact's relevance and alignment with the Museum's mission. They will also consider our ability to properly care for it as well as our ability to make it accessible to the public. A Museum volunteer may contact you if more information is needed, but in most cases we will make our decisions based on the information you have provided.
As a result of the Committee's assessment, your artifacts will be included in our collection, or be referred to another institution where the artifact may be better-suited, or may be disposed. One method of disposition may be resale as a means of fundraising to support the Museum's operations.
It is through the continued support of donors like you that JAMsj has quickly grown into one of Northern California's finest repositories of objects documenting the experiences of the Japanese American community.