If you have older family items and are considering donating them to the Historical Society, please review the GCHS Collections Policy.
While we wish we could accept every item, we do not have the space.
Grant County Historical Society Collections Policy
Mission Statement: The Grant County Historical Society believes that…” It is important to know where we have been to know where we are going…” We will collect, preserve, explain and share the history of people, life and events of Grant County.
The Grant County Historical Society has been collecting and preserving elements of the history of Grant County, Minnesota since 1938, first in the Grant County Courthouse and later in its own building. Its collections include library and archival materials, photographic materials, ephemera, 3-D objects, a log cabin, a one-room rural school and a stone bridge.
- Objects collected should have a documented connection to Grant County. An artifact typical of an item used in the county may be considered for acquisition if it is in good condition and does not duplicate another article in the collection. It may then be deaccessioned if a similar item with a county connection is donated.
- Title to all objects will be obtained free and clear, without restrictions as to their use or future disposition.
- Objects offered for donation will be evaluated for their relevance to the county’s history, condition, space required to properly store or display, and the society’s ability to properly care for an item.
- The director/curator will have the authority to accept donations. Questionable items will be brought before the board of directors to determine acceptability of said objects.
- The society will not knowingly acquire any object that has been stolen, illegally imported, or illegally removed from a historic or archaeological site.
- The following items, as a general rule, will no longer be collected: natural history (taxidermy) items, human remains, pre-1950 wedding dresses, military uniforms from the Vietnam era or earlier, or family Bibles. (If the Bible contains genealogical information, that information will be removed and filed, the rest of the book will be discarded.)
- Artifacts acquired by the historical society will be accessioned according to current museum standards.
Considerations for Accepting Donations
- Is the object or collection relevant to the mission of the Historical Society?
- Does it relate to a specific event?
- If an item will be a duplication of an item already in the collection, does or did it belong to a specific historically significant person?
- Does it relate to the history of a specific location (e.g. a historic building)?
- Does it relate to the natural history of the area?
- Does it represent a specific period?
- Does it represent a specific ethnic group?
- Is it representative of a specific business?
- How can the Society use this collection or artifact?
- Can it be used for a specific exhibit?
- Can it be used for educational or research purposes?
- If the collection or artifact is not historically significant:
- Can it be used to compare and contrast a like item in the collections?
- Can it be used because of its significant uniqueness?
- Can it be used as a valid representation of artifacts of its kind (e.g. tools)?
- Does the museum have artifacts identical to those being considered?
- Can the artifact be conserved successfully?
- Is there adequate storage space for the artifact or collections?
- Does the item have a special significance or uniqueness?
From time to time it may become desirable to remove objects from the collections due to changing historical perspectives, duplication, acquisition of items in superior condition, or deteriorating condition.
- Objects recommended for removal from the collection will be brought to the board of directors by the director/curator or a board member. The Board of Directors will have the final vote for or against deaccessioning the object.
- For objects with no accompanying Gift Agreement, an effort will be made to contact the donor, or an immediate descendant if known, to offer the item back to the donor.
- Deaccessioned items in good condition may be offered back to the donor, to other museums, or sold. Items in poor physical condition and/or have no historical value, will be disposed of appropriately.
- Documentation of deaccessioned items will be retained.
- Deaccessioned items may not be given or sold to society employees or members of the board of directors without board approval. Items donated for our annual Oldies fundraiser or deaccessioned items put out for public purchase on the sale are free to be purchased by board members without prior approval.
- Incoming loans will only be accepted for short term exhibits, study, or documentation.
- Occasionally a collection item may be loaned to another organization for temporary display. Such loans must be approved by the Board of Directors. No artifact or other loaned material may be permanently altered in any way.
- Appropriate documentation of incoming and outgoing loans will be kept.
- Employees or members of the Board of Directors shall not give appraisals for the purpose of establishing the tax deductible value of gifts to the Society. The donor must seek outside appraisal, and is responsible for any appraisal fees and expenses.
- Personal collecting by Society employees and members of the Board of Directors should not conflict with the professional collecting of the Society. When collecting, employees and Board members must always consider the needs of the Society in terms of exhibition and research purposes over their own personal needs.
Approved September 10, 2020