The Museum limits its collecting to items relating to Northeastern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It continues to collect in the areas of History, Science, and Art, with this regional focus applied. Objects are collected with an emphasis on interpretation and exhibition and secondarily research and study. With this in mind, common objects with an identified local provenance are preferred. But the Museum still acquires objects that could be associated with the region or that will fill an exhibition need.
Some of the things we consider in reviewing objects for inclusion in the Museum’s permanent collection are:
1. Is the object consistent with the Museum’s mission statement?
2. Is the object identified as desirable by the Collections Scope or by the recommendation of curatorial or Collections Department staff?
3. Is there currently duplication in the collection?
4. Will acceptance of the object result in significant expense for the museum? What are the costs for purchase, cataloging, storing, care, and conservation?
5. Is there appropriate storage space available relevant to the object’s importance to the collection and its use?
6. Has provenance been satisfactorily explored?
7. Are there restrictions or provisions regarding the object(s) use, care, or display?
8. Are there questions regarding legal title, federal violation, or any aspect relevant to the legal nature of the acquisition?
9. Is the use of the object restricted in any way such as by copyright, patent, trademark, or trade name, or encumbered by its nature by being obscene, defamatory, potentially an invasion of privacy, physically hazardous, etc.?
10. Is there another institution where the object(s) might be more appropriately housed?
11. What is the foreseeable use of the object(s)?
Thanks to the generous donations in past years, the museum is no longer collecting:
- Military uniforms prior to the Korean War
- Wedding dresses prior to the 1980s
- Textbooks prior to the 1970s
- Phonograph records
Items brought to the museum without contacting staff first may not be accepted.
To offer an object for donation please complete our online form below.