How are my donations reviewed to be accepted into the collection?Once an Artifact Donation Form is received, the item(s) presented will first be reviewed by a member of the Collections staff who will then make the recommendation to the museum’s Collections Management Committee. This committee is made up of staff knowledgeable in both the scope of the museum’s collection as well as the conservation issues associated with artifact and document care. This committee uses several questions as guidelines to evaluate the potential of an item. These questions are: Does the object fit with the museum’s Mission and Collections Management Policy? Does the object represent a significant event, person, community, place, business, or organization in the St. Joseph River Valley region? Does the object represent a milestone or pivotal point in history? Does the object represent a unique material, technique, or design? Does the object fill a void in, duplicate an item in, or support items in the existing collection? Is there documentation (written or oral) on the object? What is the overall condition of the object? What impact would the object have on available storage space? The committee uses these criteria as specified in the museum’s Collections Management Policy to guide its decisions. This policy also specifies the current areas of our collections. To view a copy of our Collections Management Policy click here
What happens after the Collections Management Committee makes its decision?The museum’s Registrar will contact individuals via phone or email and inform them of the decision. Further discussion on the next steps will take place at that time.
Will an item I donate be on display?The Northern Indiana Historical Society cannot guarantee that any objects or documents donated to its collection will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose. Only a small fraction of the collection is on view at any given time. This minimizes the risk of damage to artifacts and documents and helps us preserve those items for future generations. However, artifacts and documents can be made accessible for research purposes.