After you transfer ownership of the heirloom to the museum, it will be catalogued, photographed, and prepared for exhibition or storage. Your name, as donor, will be linked to the piece in the collection database. If the item will be included in an exhibition, museum staff does additional research very quickly. They may create a display label that credits you for the donation. Otherwise, the piece goes into storage.
"It may never go on display," Neill said. "Ninety percent or more of collections tend to be in storage for preservation and study by scholars, other institutions or qualified researchers."