Donating An Artifact

The History Center of Olmsted County (HCOC) strives to collect objects and materials that illuminate the ordinary and extraordinary stories of our past and present. These materials can serve multiple purposes, including museum exhibition, intellectual research and study, historic preservation, and educational programming. It is our job to be the stewards of these collections on behalf of the public trust, a duty that we take very seriously.

If you have an item that tells a story about the people, places, and organizations of Olmsted County and SE Minnesota, please call or write to make an appointment!

The History Center follows this process for donated items:

An initial interview is scheduled with a museum staff member. For three dimensional objects, you will see the Curator of Collections, for two dimensional items such as books and photographs, see the Archivist, and for educational items the Programming Coordinator will meet with you. Please note: appointments are preferred for all donations.

Your items may be recommended by the staff to the Collections Committee, to be considered for inclusion into the collections of the HCOC, based upon their merits and the mission of the museum. In that case, you will sign a Deed of Gift form that legally transfers ownership of the item(s) into the possession of the museum. If these items have been recommended to be included into the permanent collection, the HCOC, and the Board of Directors will have final approval authority.

Although the History Center retains the right to accept any object or materials into its collections, we use the Collections Management Plan (CMP) as a guideline. If your special item is formally accepted into the collection, it will be accessioned and cataloged, and receive the best care we can provide for it- for future generations to enjoy. Please note: the HCOC cannot promise when, where, or how your item may be exhibited in the future.

Thank you for thinking of the History Center!

Dan Nowakowski – Curator of Collections – curator@olmstedhistory.com or call 507-282-9447 ext 120

Krista Lewis – Archivist – archivist@olmstedhistory.com or call 507-282-9447 ext 113

The History Center does not accept natural history specimens.