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Archeological Artifact Identification

Archeology staff will attempt identification of prehistoric stone, bone, shell, pottery artifacts and early historic artifacts from archeological sites in Kansas. Please call ahead for an appointment, 785-272-8681, ext. 240.
Appraisals cannot be given.Artifact Identification Day

Why We Can't Be Appraisers

The Kansas Historical Society is unable to provide appraisals of the monetary value of materials offered as gifts, brought in for identification, or submitted for other purposes.

The Internal Revenue Service regards libraries and museums as interested parties and appraisals prepared by them for gifts that they receive are subject to question. To protect both its donors and itself, the Kansas Historical Society, will not appraise gifts made to it. Most libraries and museums now follow policies on appraisals similar to ours.

When an appraisal is used for tax or insurance purposes, an appraiser must be prepared to defend his appraisal in court. This requires an expert knowledge of prices. The Society is not in the business of buying and selling on a daily basis, so it cannot provide current market information as appraisers can. Furthermore, appraisers often have much more extensive collections of price guides and related bibliographies than can be found in most libraries.

Similar considerations apply when appraisals are requested for reasons not connected with gifts and tax deductions. Accurate establishment of prices can be a complex procedure, requiring a time-consuming search in auction records and price guides that we are unable to undertake.

The Society will be glad to suggest several appraisers known to us. Other appraisers in your area can be located by checking the telephone directory under headings such as “Appraisers” and “Antique-Dealers.” The Appraisers Association of America, Inc., 386 Park Avenue South, Suite 2000, New York, New York 10016, will send a directory of members for a small fee.

You should expect to pay an appraisal fee unless the materials are subsequently purchased by the appraiser. For income tax purpose, fees paid for the appraisal of materials donated to a qualifying charitable institution such as a library or museum are deductible within the limits established by law.