Artifact Donation

Want to donate a document or artifact to us?

To make donation inquiries easier for you, we now have multiple ways in which you can donate an artifact. Please read our collections policy below to find out more details on the donation process. After reading the collections policy, you can inquire about your potential donation by filling out the form at the bottom of the page, emailing us at, or by call us at (715) 526-3323.

Read Our Collections Policy

Purpose of Collections:

The Society will collect museum and library items and material to preserve, publish, and interpret the history of Shawano County.

Types of Items Collected:

The Society will collect paper products such as manuscripts, books, records, other written and printed material, photographic prints, negatives, slides, electronic media, audio and video media, equipment, furnishings, clothing, and other natural, commercial, institutional and personal objects.

Acquiring Collections:

Objects may be acquired by gift, exchange, purchase, or other means transferring absolute title to the Society. The Society will generally not purchase materials. Any purchase in excess of $100 will require Board of Directors approval.

The Society will not accept artifacts that have been illegally acquired or recovered under circumstances that are indicative of or supportive of irresponsible damage to, or destruction of, the environment or archaeological and historic sites, cultural monuments, or human burial places.

Acceptance Criteria:

  1. The Society will accept artifacts/archive material only if they represent important themes or episodes in the county’s history, are worthy of preservation, and serve an educational function.
  2. The Society may choose not to accept items that are: a) in poor condition, unless they are deemed so rare or historically valuable that preservation is warranted; b) duplicates of items in the collection; c) not contemporary with the time period they depict or are representative of.
  3. The Society will accept only unrestricted gifts or purchases.
  4. Materials may be accepted for the purpose of sale or exchange, provided that the donor consents.

Acceptance Process:

  1. Trained staff members are authorized to take receipt of items or materials.
  2. A donor form will be completed by the donor and a trained and authorized staff member.
  3. The forms will be kept on file by the Society.
  4. All items will be catalogued and accessioned, described and digitally scanned/photographed, digitally indexed in the Society database, and stored in safe conditions.

Tax Deductions:

Donations are tax-deductible under the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and IRS regulations, and will be properly acknowledged by the Society. Donors are responsible for arranging for and paying for appraisals.

Deaccessioning Catalogued Collections:

  1. Items may be permanently removed from the collection when the item(s):
    1. A) Is outside the scope of the collections; or
    2. B) Cannot be used for exhibit, loan, research, or education due to its physical condition; or
    3. C) Is a duplicate of an item in the collection; or
    4. D) Has been superseded by a better example; or
    5. E) Is of questionable authenticity; or
    6. F) Cannot be properly stored, preserved, or used by
      the Society; or
    7. G) Would be better suited for another collection.
  2. Deaccession decisions will be made by either the Archive Director or the Museum Director upon the recommendation of trained and authorized staff members.
  3. Large, valuable, or historically significant items will be considered by the Board of Directors for deaccession approval.

Disposal of Materials Deaccessioned from the Collections:

  1. Objects may only be disposed of by:
    1. A) absolute destruction or exchange or transfer with another historical agency with a purpose similar to that of the Society, or
    2. B) by sale upon Board of Director approval.
  2. Consideration shall be given to placing the item through gift, exchange, or sale to institutions where it may serve a purpose for which it was initially acquired by the Society.
  3. Funds received from the sale of items from the collection shall be used to benefit collections.
  4. Items may be destroyed if they are severely deteriorated, in an irreparable state, or of no apparent value.

Loan of Collections to the Society:

The Society may borrow materials only for a limited time period and only for the purpose of exhibition, research or copying.

Loan of Collections from the Society:

  1. Loans from the Society will be made for limited time periods not to exceed one year, and only to non-profit organizations for exhibition or research.
  2. Loans of artifacts must be approved by the Museum Director and the President of the Society.
  3. If documents or photographs are loaned, they will be in the form of copies and the cost of the copies will be paid by the borrowing organization.
  4. A loan agreement will be signed by the borrower. The agreement will define the use of the loaned material, the duration of the loan, and the conditions of responsibility for the care of the loaned item(s), including any stipulations regarding insurance coverage.

Security and Safety:

The Society shall provide safe and secure storage of, and controlled access to the collections.

Collection Records:

  1. Systematic records shall promptly be prepared for all incoming materials for permanent individual identification.
  2. A duplicate copy of the accession records shall be made and stored in a secure location. These records shall include the accession register and a copy of all outstanding loan agreements.
  3. A record of all collections shall be entered into the Society’s database, including digitally scanned replicas of the original collections, in accordance with data backup policies currently in effect.
  4. The staff shall prepare an annual report on the condition of the collection to the Board of Directors. The report shall include an enumeration of the additions to the collections, statements on deaccessioned materials, loans to and from the collections, usage of the collections, conservation procedures applied to and/or necessary for the collections, the general condition of the collections, and other matters deemed appropriate.

Inventory of Collections:

The Society shall conduct periodic inventories to monitor the location and condition of the materials it holds. Any inventory may be partial or complete depending on staff and resource availability or limitations.

Access to Collections and Public Disclosure:

In response to reasonable inquiries, the materials in the Society’s collections, and the records pertaining to the collections, will be made available for educational, scholarly or review purposes.

The Society may restrict access to materials that are at risk of damage or loss of integrity arising from handling or use, and the Society may limit handling of such items to trained Society staff members.

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