National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) donation project

Step 1. Learn about the NESS Donation Project

Historical items from the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile (NESS) are now available for donation to eligible organizations. The NESS Donation Project will enable organizations to preserve, exhibit and interpret items related to the history of Canadian civil defence and emergency preparedness and response.

There is a variety of vintage emergency health and welfare supplies to choose from in the NESS collection.

Please visit our NESS web page to learn more about NESS, its origins, history and recent activities.

Step 2. Determine your eligibility

Eligible organizations must be a recognized charity or non-profit organization located in Canada that can properly care for or interpret these items. Eligible organizations include:

  • museums
  • educational institutions
  • science centres
  • historical centres
  • cultural centres
  • regional archives

Private individuals are not eligible.

If you are from a federal organization or an organization in other levels of government in Canada, you may request for NESS legacy items through existing transfer mechanisms. Please contact us by email at for more information.

Step 3. Examples of items

A curator has assessed all donation items for their heritage value. We will send an electronic catalogue of available items to eligible applicants. The catalogue has been created to allow you to indicate your choices. You can request individual large items or entire crates of items by returning your completed catalogue to PHAC.

Some examples of available items are shown below.

Figure 1. X-ray machine
Figure 1
Figure 1 - Text description

Photo of a portable x-ray machine with a stainless steel table for the patient, a monitor to read x-ray images and an instruction poster on how to assemble the equipment. Also shown is a metal box supporting a U.S. Military Picker x-ray field unit with power switch, voltage dial and dial to adjust the line.

Figure 2. X-ray apparatus
Figure 2
Figure 2 - Text description

Close up photo of a U.S. Military Picker x-ray field unit inside a large metal crate with instruction manual and additional parts.

Figure 3. X-Sterilizing equipment
Figure 3
Figure 3 - Text description

Photo showing a stainless steel front load sterilizer with 2 pressure gauges and a dial knob for selecting the sterilization cycle.

Figure 4. Portable operating table
Figure 4
Figure 4 - Text description

Photo of a foldable metal operating table with 2 metal poles, 1 on either side, each with a fabric strap attached for holding intravenous bags.

Figure 5. Wangensteen gastro evacuator
Figure 5
Figure 5 - Text description

Photo of a stainless steel Wangensteen gastro evacuator on 3 wheels. A clear glass bottle, held by a metal support, is connected to the evacuator tank with a rubber hose attached leading to a pressure gauge located on top of the machine.

Figure 6. Sterilizer
Figure 6
Figure 6 - Text description

Photo of a stainless steel Amsco portable front load sterilizer. On the top front is a pressure gauge and a dial knob to set temperature. There is a warning sign on it that reads "Do not engage switch while timer is on."

Figure 7. Cervical dilators
Figure 7
Figure 7 - Text description

Photo of a set of 8 surgical steel, double-ended cervical dilators individually strapped inside a cloth bag. Also shown is the original packaging.

Figure 8. Spinal fluid manometer
Figure 8
Figure 8 - Text description

Photo of a spinal fluid manometer with its packaging, 2 glass tubes used to measure cerebrospinal fluid pressure, a cloth and an instruction manual.

Figure 9. Forceps
Figure 9
Figure 9 - Text description

Photo showing 4 surgical steel forceps sitting on top of their original packaging. Each have different end shapes for use on specific parts of the body.
Top left is a haemostatic forcep
Top right is a hysterectomy forcep
Bottom left is an intestinal forcep
Bottom right is a kidney clamp forcep

Figure 10. Assorted tools
Figure 10
Figure 10 - Text description

Photo of assorted tools: hand shovel for general purpose, 2 hammer claws with wooden handles, a metal nail puller, 26-inch steel crosscut handsaw with wooden handle. The saw has engraving on the steel that reads "For beauty finish and temper this saw cannot be excelled Shirly Dietrich Atkins Co. Ltd."

Figure 11. Binocular and atomizer
Figure 11
Figure 11 - Text description

Photo of 2 tools and their packaging: an atomizer with a removable tip and a binocular.

Figure 12. Crate - central supply box
Figure 12
Figure 12 - Text description

Photo of a central supply wooden crate with label that says "Emergency Hospital."

Step 4. Application process for NESS artifacts

We are asking organizations who are interested in obtaining NESS items to complete an on-line Application Form and submit it to us before May 20, 2019

We will assess your application on these criteria:

  • capacity to keep safe and preserve the items
  • capacity to display the items
  • intended use for the items

The application assessment process should take approximately 2 weeks. We will notify all successful applicants approximately 3 weeks after May 20th, the close of the application period.

Requests will be considered only from organizations that have submitted a completed application form by May 20, 2019.

Successful applicants will receive an electronic copy of our catalogue of available artifacts. The catalogue is designed so that you can make your selection(s) directly on it and return it to us within an established time frame.

If there are multiple requests for a limited number of items, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) will give priority to applicants in this order:

  • museums
  • educational institutions
  • science centres
  • historical centres
  • cultural centres
  • regional archives

Completing the Application Form does not, in and of itself, constitute a formal commitment. All donations are within the PHAC’s sole discretion.

Step 5. The NESS artifacts Transfer Agreement

All transfers of artifacts will be documented and signed by the Public Health Agency of Canada and the receiving organization. The Transfer Agreement outlines the terms and conditions of the donation. Some of the main conditions in the agreement include that:

  • ownership is transferred by donation and in “as-is” condition
  • the recipient is responsible for making arrangements with the Public Health Agency of Canada for the pick-up of items
  • the recipient is responsible for making all shipping arrangements related to transport of the items to the recipient’s location
  • the recipient agrees to:
    • promote and display the items
    • preserve and safeguard the items
    • credit the Public Health Agency of Canada and the National Emergency Strategic Stockpile as the donor, including for advertising, promoting, displaying or exhibiting any of the items
    • adhere to its established organizational policy to remove items from their collection, including through disposal or loan
  • the recipient will not use any of the items or their parts for medical purposes
  • the recipient agrees that the Government of Canada shall have no liability in connection with the items
  • the PHAC will make no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the items

If you have any questions about the donation process, please contact us by email at

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