Museums are one of the world’s most trusted resources. They preserve, acquire and display scientific, art and historic objects, and information, in an accessible way to the public. Their collections are exhibited for the purposes of study, education and enjoyment, and contribute tangible long term value to communities. They offer a truly unique experience of discovery and exploration that encourage a greater understanding of our world.

The Optical Heritage Museum celebrates nearly 350 years of combined Optical expertise, research and artifacts from American Optical and ZEISS. As a not-for-profit organization  the Optical Heritage Museum relies on the generosity of partners and benefactors such as Carl Zeiss, visitors and friends.

The Optical Heritage Museum recognizes the outstanding benefactor contribution made by ZEISS in the joint naming of the museum and within the ZEISS displays.


The success of the Optical Heritage Museum owes much to the commitment of our supporters.

When giving to the Optical Heritage Museum, you become part of the dynamic philanthropic community that supports the Museum.

Sponsors investing are also injecting energy to grow and develop the local Southbridge community, the State of Massachusetts and America as a whole because your help is ensuring that the world’s premier Optical Heritage Museum remains for future generations.

Our partners enjoy a wide range of flexible and imaginative benefits, including invitations to events and exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities to explore the Museum and its vital work.

There is an array of giving opportunities available. The different options below can providing both immediate and long-term impact to the Optical Heritage Museum allows your support to be directed in a way that’s most meaningful to you.


Bequests, Donating or Loaning Objects

A bequest or donation of an object to the Optical Heritage Museum is a generous way to make a lasting contribution to the collections and activities of the Museum.

We invite you to make a notified bequest or donation in your will for the benefit of future generations. You can do this by:

  • writing a letter to the Optical Heritage Museum advising of your intention to make a bequest;
  • providing a copy of the relevant extract from your will; and providing a confirming letter from your solicitor.

If you are interested in loaning the Museum a historical object to allow the greater public a chance to view a part of Optical history please contact us today. We are always interested to add value for the public with our collections and displays.


Legacy, Tribute and Memorial Gifts

Tribute gifts are a wonderful way of honoring someone’s legacy for momentous occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and weddings.

Memorial gifts are a heartfelt way of expressing sympathy for a lost loved one which makes a special and lasting impact.

There are many ways to coordinate this however some people choose to use a trusted website that can be easily be customized for contributions to be conducted online. This allows friends, colleagues, family and the wider community can contribute with ease to the tribute, legacy or memorial fund as they wish. We recommend experiment  which specializes in the sciences however they are many other websites to choose from.

The funds can be donated to support the important on-going work of the Optical Heritage Museum or go towards something more specific.

Arrange a legacy, tribute or memorial gift today by getting in touch.


Friends and Members of the Optical Heritage Museum

Friends of the Optical Heritage Museum make a significant contribution in many ways including enhancing visitor experiences, sharing the stories optical history, and assisting with caring and conducting research on our collections. 

This entirely volunteer-run organization takes guided tours and raises funds to support the Museum's activities.

They are skilled, committed and enthusiastic people. Volunteer at the Museum to learn new skills, share your passions with like-minded people, and work with world-class scientists and experts.

Your generous donation of time helps us to promote the Museum as a place for lifelong learning and inspiration.


Please consider supporting the Optical Heritage Museum today!