Share Surf History

Help preserve your surfing history. Consider donating your documents, images and artifacts to the California Surf Museum.

Share Surf History

The California Surf Museum will consider donations that meet its mission statement. Please call
(760) 721-6876 in advance if you are interested in donating a surfboard, surf magazines, your surf scrapbooks, surf clothing, etc. CSM will request any stories you have to share about the item you are donating.

Donating a surfboard: download form here.

Donating other objects or memorabilia: download form here.

CSM’s Collection Policy

Revised January 2015

1. Purpose of Collections

The purpose of the California Surf Museum, herein after referred to as the CSM, is to collect, preserve, document and exhibit artifacts that represent the cultural heritage of surfing and wave riding world wide, with the history of California surfing in general. CSM exists for the purpose of providing education, inspiration and enrichment for all people through exhibition and explanation. The goal of CSM is to educate and enlighten all people about the past, present and future of surfing for the enjoyment of the public. This document affirms the policies and explains administrative intent governing the acquisition, use and disposition of items or collections by CSM.

2. Acquisitions

2.1. Conditions of Acceptance: With very few exceptions, all acquisitions, gifts, purchased objects and/or collections are unconditional. CSM cannot accept objects on which the owner has placed restriction that would affect exhibit use, loans and disposal in accordance with CSM policy. CSM cannot accept objects with restrictions requiring that they be placed on exhibition or that a collection is to be permanently kept together. Under extraordinary circumstances, objects and/or collections can be accepted with the requirement that CSM retain ownership for a negotiated period of time.

2.2. Appraisal and Authentication of Acquisitions: No member of the CSM staff shall, in his or her official capacity, give appraisals for the purpose of establishing the tax-deductible value of a gift or purchase offered to CSM. The Internal Revenue Service prohibits appraisal from a recipient institution that is directly involved with the transaction. Only appraisals from disinterested third parties are accepted. Where appropriate, CSM will assist owners in finding qualified professionals who can provide appraisals. Identification and authentication of objects may be given for educational purposes only.

2.3. Documentation of Acquisitions: All acquisitions must be recorded on a CSM donation form, and shall contain the following information:

  • Name and address of said person(s) that are to transfer ownership of objects(s) to the CSM
  • Valid identification of donor
  • Description of all objects and/or collections donated The Curator or the Director in charge of collections (or their designee), herein after referred to as the Curator, are the only authorized representatives of the CSM allowed to accept acquisitions of objects and/or collections. This includes the review of the CSM donation form. Objects or collections of questionable origin must be investigated with regard to their origin and legitimate ownership before the CSM will accept custody of said items.

3. Dispositions

3.1. Ethical Constraints: CSM acts as the custodian of objects that are for the benefit of society. This, at times, requires permanent removal of objects from the collection that no longer contribute to the comprehensiveness of the CSM collection and/or useful purposes and activities of CSM. CSM’s legal, moral, and professional obligation maintains its collection for the public good; this policy extends to dispositions as well.

3.2. Recommendation of Dispositions: Each object being considered for deaccession must have been the recommendation of the Curator. Objects that were previously a significant part of the CSM collection may become surplus. Removal or culling of such objects from the collection is a continual and routine process. Objects that will improve and refine the CSM collection must replace disposal of redundant objects. Objects in the collection should be retained permanently if they continue to contribute to the comprehensiveness of the CSM collection.

3.3. Disposal: The Curator is required to review all objects and collections to be considered for disposal. No objects or collections may be removed from the CSM collection without the recommendation of the Curator and approval from the Board of Directors. Objects or collections should not be given or sold privately to CSM employees, volunteers or their relatives, without discussion and permission of the CSM Board of Directors. All objects or collections must have its original CSM documentation and the Curator approval before its transfer. All objects to be removed from the CSM for disposal should be photographed for documentation purposes before transfer. All objects or collections with a fair market value reasonably expected to be in excess of $500 USD, require prior approval of the CSM Board of Directors before transfer from the CSM.

4. Definitions

Accession: Specific procedures that are followed in the logging of new objects into the CSM collection following acquisition.

Acquisition: involves all transactions by which title to incoming objects is transferred to the CSM or by which the objects come under the professional administrative and curatorial control of the CSM, and includes gifts, bequests, purchases, exchanges and other transfers, in addition to collection by the CSM staff.

Collection: an assemblage of objects acquired and conserved because of their surfing and historic significance and educational value.

Curation: all aspects of professionally caring for the collections and the objects they contain, including, but not limited to, acquiring, accessioning, cataloging, maintaining, preserving, restoring, deaccessioning and disposing of the CSM collections or objects.

Deaccession: specific procedures that are followed in removing objects from the CSM collection in preparation for disposition.

Disposition: involves all transactions by which title to outgoing objects is transferred from the CSM to another institution or individual(s).

Object: all collection material, including, but not limited to, surfboards, artifacts, articles, photographs, illustrations, drawings, archival and library materials, film, movies, posters, music, artwork, tolls, magazines, books, swim wear and other related surfing material.


California Surf Museum
312 Pier View Way
Oceanside, CA 92054

Phone: (760) 721-6876

Hours of Operation

Open Daily 10am to 4pm
Thursdays until 8pm
Major Holidays Closed

Admission Fees

Adults $5
Seniors (62+), Military, Students $3
Kids under 12 Free
First Tuesday of the Month Free
CSM Members Free