Why Can’t I Donate to the Museum in Stardew Valley?

The opening cut scene that introduces Gunther, head of the library and museum, is one that lays a clear foundation. Donate valuable items and artifacts you discover along the way, and maybe there will be something good in it for you. A not-so-spoiler alert: there is!

Aside from sprinting for the completionist feat in the game, donating to the museum leads to many rewards that include rare seeds, valuable seasonal crop seeds, furniture, decorations, and more. Plus you get to help Pelican Town by putting together a pretty cool collection of minerals and artifacts.

It’s a really neat feeling to see most of the collection filled out. I’m still following up on my first complete museum (three short on this one), but anyone who as made the attempt to fill the museum know how much effort it takes to get even this close.

Nearly complete museum collection stardew
A nearly full museum in Pelican Town really is an impressive sight!

How to Donate to the Museum in Stardew Valley – It’s Easy!

Donating an item to the Museum in Pelican Town isn’t hard, but depending on what specific platform you’re playing on or if it’s your first time with the game, there are some basic things to know so they don’t trip you up when you’re doing your part to be a good citizen!

Follow the advice and fixes in this article and you’ll be putting together your collection of minerals and artifacts for the town’s museum in no time!

Donating to the Museum in Stardew Valley

  • Head into the museum
  • Run up to Gunther at the front desk (NOT the displays in the back)
  • Click on the desk
  • Click and place any items lit up in your inventory that you can then drag into a display case in the museum
Gunther at Stardew museum
Not helpful, Gunther. Not helpful.

That’s it!

But what if it doesn’t work?

Let’s dive into fixing the most common issues that don’t let you donate to Stardew Valley’s museum.

If You Can’t Donate to Pelican Town’s Museum – Here Are The Fixes!

There aren’t many reasons why you might have in-game issues with donating to the Museum in Pelican Town, but there are a few certain circumstances (especially on mobile) where difficulties can arise. If you follow the tips in this section, you should be able to troubleshoot the issue and donate to Gunther without any further problems while playing Stardew.

First, cover the basics.

Make Sure:

  • You’ve triggered the initial cut scene with Gunther at the Library/Museum by walking into the building with an artifact (or collectable mineral) of some kind.
  • The item you’re donating is something that hasn’t been donated before

These are two mistakes that early players can make which can prevent donations. As long as you’re not making either of these mistakes then you can move on to the next fixes.

Are You Playing on Mobile or a Mac?

Most players reporting a problem with trying to give something to Gunther they are playing on Mobile, and to a lesser extent, a compact Macbook. The issue seems to be that they go to Gunther and click, but the option to donate doesn’t come up.

Mobile can be really particular when it comes to clicking the desk, unlike the desktop or a gaming laptop. That means you need to press multiple times around the front desk until you hit the exact point where the donation box opens up. Multiple mobile players have reported that they had to press multiple times until finding the one, and only one, specific spot where it worked.

On a much less frequent level, the same happened with a Mac book but this appears to be much more of a mobile problem on average.

Beyond that, make sure you are not holding the item in your hands, and that the item isn’t in the furthest right hand space of your quick bar inventory. That has sometimes made it too hard to select when trying to place it.

Just rearrange what you want to donate in your inventory and proceed.

museum minerals Stardew
All the minerals that can be found in the game, I’m just one short of getting the complete collection on this particular playstyle. Most of these are relatively easy to find with the Prismatic Shard traditionally being the hardest.

How to Make Sure You’re Not Trying to Donate Something Twice

When looking at your inventory from the pause screen, or while in Clint the Blacksmith’s store looking at your minerals, you can hover the cursor over the mineral in your inventory. If it tells you a value, it’s one you’ve donated to the museum already or that can’t be donated. If a box appears that says “Gunther can tell you more about this” then that is not only donatable to the museum, but that message indicates that it hasn’t been donated yet.

If you pause and check your inventory, use the same trick to look at artifacts dug up or found via treasure chests while fishing. Hover your cursor over it and if you get the “Gunther can tell you more about this” message then it’s time to go donate.

If an artifact or gem is grayed out when talking to Gunther, that means you have already donated that object some time in the past.

Stardew artifacts list
Screenshot of all the artifacts that you can track and donate to the Museum in Stardew Valley – I also can’t believe I’m missing the green weird doll in this file, that’s almost always one of my first ones!

What Can You Donate to the Museum in Stardew Valley?

In Stardew Valley you can donate 53 gems and 42 artifacts as of the 1.5 update. That means there are 95 total items that can be donated to the museum with certain rewards given to you by Gunther after a certain number of items are donated, and sometimes after a particular item is donated.

The full list can be found on the Stardew Wiki here.

Can You Take Back Anything You Donated to the Museum in Stardew Valley?

Ah, so you made the rookie mistake of donating a prismatic shard or dinosaur egg before knowing how hard they are to find and/or how important those items are.

Unfortunately, you can’t take back anything you donated to the museum. Which is why when you have very important items that are needed for other things you want to take care of those first.

Which brings us to…

Why don’t you donate a prismatic shard to the museum?

The very first prismatic shard you find should ALWAYS be used in the desert to unlock the Galaxy Sword. This weapon is leaps and bounds beyond anything else available at the time and also unlocks the Galaxy Hammer.

Once these weapons are unlocked, then and only then should you donate the prismatic shard to the museum in Pelican Town.

Why don’t you donate a dinosaur egg to the museum?

This isn’t as huge a sin as it used to be if you have the most recent 1.5 update (sorry Android IOS users) since there are now more ways to get this once extremely rare artifact.

But the reason you keep it is simple. With a deluxe chicken coop in Stardew you can put a dinosaur egg into the incubator and it will hatch a baby dino. Keep showing that dino love and feed it (this one eats hay/grass just like the chickens) and eventually it will start laying dino eggs.

Since you can then get a steady supply, that’s when you make the dino egg donation to the museum in Stardew Valley.

In Conclusion

There aren’t any common glitches that are known in Stardew Valley about not being able to donate to the museum, so the problem is almost always one of the above issues. Work your way through these and you should have no problem contributing to the Museum and reaping all the great rewards that Gunther will offer you for your contributions.

Not to mention that player satisfaction from a full museum of donations helping to make your local library/museum a true attraction to quiet little Pelican Town.

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