Collections Policy


a) A major responsibility of the board of Directors and staff of the Wadena County Historical Society is the collection and preservation of the artifacts related to the natural and cultural history of the county and West Central Minnesota.


b) These materials comprise a heritage of the Wadena county region and are held in trust by the society so present and future generations may use them for research and educational purposes and to gain knowledge of the area.



a) The Board of Directors may authorize a person (title may vary) to handle all acquisitions and to ensure the proper management of the artifact and archival collection.


b) The acquisition facilitator will follow the mission statement as given in the 1999 revised edition of the Wadena County Historical Society By-Laws, Article II.


c) The facilitator shall maintain all artifact records.



a) The society maintains one type of collection, i e., the Permanent Collection. This consists of those objects acquired through purchases, donations, or other means, given to the society to hold in public trust.


b) Selections of artifacts and archival materials designated to become the property of the society shall be made by the acquisitions facilitator with board approval when size or condition warrant a decision.


c) The society reserves the right to decline any gift or bequest offered to it.


d) Artifact collections will include, but are not limited to, the following kinds of materials: artifacts associated with the early development of the county, possession of homesteaders, works of craftsmen and industries, artifacts from typical ethnic groups, objects brought to this area as mementos of earlier times and/or ancestors, objects used in the county during the 20th century, objects of art and academia.


e) Every effort shall be made by the facilitator and the board to preserve all artifacts and archival materials is such a manner as to maintain the basis integrity of the item and to provide for an appropriate preservation environment according to standard museum preservation techniques.


f) Some artifacts may be placed on-loan at the discretion of the acquisitions facilitator and in some cases with board approval. Each on-loan situation will be dealt with on an individual basis. Accurate records will be kept by staff members.


g) Under no circumstances shall any employee or agent of the society appraise an object for a donor. No employee or agent of the society shall give advice concerning tax deductions for artifact donations.



a) Funds shall be budgeted annually for the purchase of acquisitions, and collection conservation with any purchases over $50 subject to board approval.


b) Accurate financial records shall be kept of all such transactions by the purchaser.



a) No one who engages in the business of selling objects of historical value shall serve on the Board of Directors or act as acquisitions facilitator. No society member, employee or director may profit from the sale of personally historical objects to the society.


a) Donors shall sign a Deed of Gift form which includes name, address, date and an itemized list and description of the item/items donated. Donor relinquishes ownership. The society has the right to refuse to accept any artifact with “strings” attached as to usage and method of displaying.


b) Each donor is assigned a number. This number is transferred to the item/items in an unobtrusive location and with permanent marking.


c) Each donor’s Deed of Gift form is filed alphabetically by last name and the record retained for future reference.


d) All items marked with the initials WCHS indicate the donor was/is unknown or wishes to remain anonymous, or the item was purchased or acquired by the society facilitators, staff, members, and/or board of directors.



a) No Permanent Collection artifacts may be returned to the original donor. They will be the permanent property of the Wadena County Historical Society.



a) It may be necessary at times to remove some artifacts. One or more of these criteria must be met for an object to be removed. 1) The object no longer conforms to the societies collection objectives. 2) The object is deteriorated beyond any conceivable use and should be discarded.


b) Items removed shall be recorded in the Deed of Gift form signed by the WCHS Executive Director with the date and the reason for the removal stipulated in writing.


c) The Acquisition Team and/or Board of Director’s shall make the decision on how the item will be disposed of.

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