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Donate an Artifact to the Wisconsin Historical Museum

We rely on the generosity of donors to help fulfill our mission of preserving the state's heritage for future generations. The Museum is always seeking artifacts that represent the experiences of Wisconsinites from many backgrounds and time periods.

**Remember, the Museum collects only
three-dimensional objects**

To donate photographs, papers, manuscripts, books, newspapers or published materials to our collections, contact the Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives.

Considerations for Artifact Donations

Because of its specific mission and its limited resources, the Museum accepts only those artifacts that meet ALL of the following criteria:

  1. The object must relate in a significant way to the history or prehistory of what is now the state of Wisconsin.
  2. Sufficient information about the history and function of the artifact must be available at the time of acceptance to justify the research and/or interpretation value of the object.
  3. The object must not represent an unnecessary duplication of artifacts already in the collection.
  4. The Museum must be reasonably assured that the donor has legal title to the artifact and can convey that title to the Historical Society. The Museum cannot accept items known to have been illegally imported or acquired, or to have resulted from the improper destruction of historic or archaeological sites, buildings, districts or objects.
  5. The artifact can be acquired without restrictions (such as requirements for long-term loan, permanent display, or exhibition of an entire collection).
  6. The object is in reasonable condition, has no extraordinary conservation needs, and can be adequately stored and cared for by the Museum.

Do you have something that might meet all of these requirements? If so, please contact a Museum curator about a possible donation.

Expand your place in history

Society members at the History Lover level receive:

  • Free site admission
  • 10-percent discount on store items

Become a member today!


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