Contribute to our Collection

ACMS Contributions

Can you contribute something of historical value?

GOTO: Personal History | Donation Policy | Guidelines | Wanted | NOT Wanted

The Australian Computer Museum Society, Inc., is an Australian government registered Educational Charity. Should you wish to make a donation, you will be issued with a tax receipt for personal or corporate taxation purposes.

Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated; the ACMS is operated by volunteers and all proceeds go directly to the preservation, maintenance or exhibition of the ACMS collection.

The ACMS depends on contributions of equipment, software and printed materiel to build up its stock. However we have an impressive amount already - an estimated 50-60 tonnes! - and storage space is at a premium. So although we are always on the lookout for more significant items and pieces, we have to carefully screen donations to make sure we really can take them.

Here is the procedure to follow if you think you can contribute significant items to ACMS.

  1. To contribute personal history, read the Personal History section.
  2. Please read our Donation Policy.
  3. Check your equipment against the Wanted list below.
  4. Check your equipment against the NOT Wanted list below.
  5. If you want to proceed, contact us, tell us about the item and its history in detail if possible (images are always handy too), and we will gladly consider your donation.

Personal History

The ACMS is very interested in gathering a history of people in computing, especially Australians. Australia has always been in the forefront of computing, and has produced some of the world's best technicians in the field. The early "computer literacy" rate was high amongst Australian universities, institutions and companies.

But our history is only as complete as we record, so the ACMS also wants to hear from you if you have been involved in the history of Australian computing, even if you consider it only an insignificant role. Who knows! You may be the last holder of some important and useful knowledge, or something important we need to know or confirm. We are especially keen to hear from women who were involved in the forefront of computing.

To contribute history, contact our President by email, initially with a quick outline of your contribution.

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Donation Policy

Limited storage space and transport

This is most important - our storage space is VERY limited. This tends to preclude us accepting very large or very many items today. Storage costs money, so we have to be manage our storage abilities very carefully. We are hoping that this can be alleviated to some extent soon.

In the case of very large or very numerous items, we may decide to take only interesting sections, or a selection of items. We are not able to "just take everything" and dispose of what we do not want ourselves. Also, having to fetch items, especially large ones, from far places is equally expensive for us. Transport costs us a lot of money, so again, we have to manage our costs very carefully.

We already have many good examples

We cannot accept every extant example of every old computer item offered to us, no matter how pre-loved they are. We just don't need and cannot store hundreds of units of of each type - only three or four good examples of each are needed for our purposes. We already have examples of most of the "common" small computer systems made - see our NOT Wanted list below.

But this does not mean we are not interested in every offer - a real gem may just turn up, and they do. So please don't hesitate to ask.

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Our guidelines for accepting a donation

Our basic rules of thumb for what we look for in donations, in order of importance:

  1. SIGNIFICANCE: Good examples of their type and period, especially of Australian computing.
  2. PROVENANCE: Proof of ownership and usage, confirming its significance.
  3. CONDITION: Good clean condition, especially if whole, undamaged, and in working order.
  4. COMPLETENESS: Original manuals, media, packaging, attachments and peripherals.

Loaned equipment

Generally, we do not accept equipment on loan because of insurance issues. However, for significant cases, we are willing to make exceptions and negotiate options.


There are a number of desirable items we are specifically keeping a sharp eye out for. We have either no examples of these items, or only examples in poor condition, incomplete, or in parts. We would appreciate any news and contacts that might lead to the acquisition of these items:

  • IBM PC Jr, working condition, especially the IR keyboard, software and manuals
  • Apple Lisa, preferably in working condition with any software and manuals
  • Apple Macintosh SE, the first commercial version of the B&W "tombstone" system. Preferably in working condition with any software and manuals
  • Apple Macintosh II, the first colour Mac. Preferably in working condition with original monitor, any software and manuals
  • Digital RA60 disk drive, for which we have disk platters but no drives!

NOT Wanted

We already have many examples of the following items, so this is an exclusion list. If your item is one of these then it will need to be in first-class condition with a fully documented history and comprehensive documentation even to be considered.

  • DEC LA120, LA180 printer
  • DEC VT100, VT220 terminal
  • DEC VAXmates, all models
  • DEC Rainbows, all models
  • DEC DECmates, all models
  • Digital PDP-11/34 computer
  • Digital PDP-11/35 computer
  • Digital PDP-11/40 computer
  • Digital RA80, RA81, RA82, RA90, RA92 disk drive
  • Digital MicroVAX II, all models and configurations
  • Digital VAX-750
  • Digital MicroVAX 3100, all models

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Early personal PC keyboard