About our Collection

Collection items are 3-D objects, such as clothing, furniture, or ceramics. Our collections include over 25,000 objects relating to Hennepin County history.

We use our collections items to tell the story of Hennepin County through exhibits, both on display in our building and at venues throughout the county.

What can you see?

  • Not everything from our collection is on display all the time. See the On Exhibit page to see what is on display in the museum today.
  • We feature objects from the collection on the HHM News page.
  • Read about pieces from the collection in Hennepin History Magazine.

Frequently Asked Questions about Donating Objects to the Museum

While we would like to be able to collect everything and anything related to Hennepin County history, such a collection would be too large for one institution to manage. Space is an issue in the building and maintaining and preserving an item to museum standards is a costly endeavor. For this reason, we have to say no more often than we can say yes to potential museum donations; to accept everything would mean that we could not give the collections the time and care that they deserve.

Currently we are not accepting donations of objects, while we work on our ongoing Collections Project, which we hope to complete in the next few years. This policy ensures that our institution can properly care for and preserve artifacts within our means. If you feel that you have an item that would be appropriate for the HHM collection, we encourage you to contact the museum directly and speak to our Curator.

Donations to the HHM Archives and/or Library can be made at any time, however the condition of the items to be donated, the scope of the materials in relation to Hennepin County, and the amount of room we have available for proper storage in our collection will be considered when accepting items.

When donating materials to our archive, the first step would be to contact our Museum Archivist, and fill out a Donations Acquisitions Form that will allow you to assess and describe the condition of materials to be donated.

Please do not drop off or mail objects without first contacting the museum – we want to make sure that your potential gift is properly identified and cared for.

Rocking chair