The Anoka County Historical Society accepts many different kinds of artifacts; everything from paper, to clothing, to furniture. However, our resources to accept, process, and preserve artifacts are limited; we only have so much space, money, and time. For this reason, our Collection Policy lays out some strict criteria than must be considered for any artifact offered to the Collections at ACHS:
Relation to Anoka County History
The artifact(s) must be related to Anoka County in some meaningful way. If it doesn’t have an Anoka County connection, we are not able to accept it here – no matter how interesting an artifact it is.
The artifact(s) should have a story. Stories provide the historical context that makes artifacts interesting and helpful in the future. Who created this item? Who bought or owned it? How old is it? What was it used for? How did it come to you the current owner? If we cannot answer at least some of these questions about an artifact, then it may not be able to tell us much about the story of Anoka County.
If an artifact is truly falling apart, or is too weathered or fragile to be handled, then we may not be able to accept it.
Size or Volume
If an item is very large, or very voluminous (many boxes of paper records, for example), then those will require a great deal of space to properly house. We must take the availability of storage space into consideration when deciding whether or not to accept offered donations falling into this category.
Similarity to Artifacts Already in Our Collections
Depending on the artifact(s), we may already have the same or similar items that have been donated in the past, and may not need anymore.
Some things ACHS is VERY interested in adding to our collections:
- Identified photographs, stories, or artifacts from the following communities: St. Francis, Bethel, East Bethel, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Andover, Ham Lake, Columbus, and Linwood.
- Early community records from any of Anoka County’s 21 communities.
- Photographs of the inside of the Carnegie Library. We have several pictures of the exterior of the Carnegie Library that used to stand in the city of Anoka, but have never seen any pictures of the interior. We would love to add some to our Collections!
- Photographs, stories, and artifacts from Anoka County veterans involved in the Desert Storm military operation.
- Histories of businesses in Anoka County.
Some things ACHS is POSSIBLY interested in:
- Yearbooks. We have many Anoka High School yearbooks, but are still missing some years. We have less complete collections from other schools. Please contact us with the school and year of the book you are interested in donating.
- 1939 Anoka tornado pictures. We have a large number of these in the Collections already, but may be interested in unique or underrepresented images.
- Editions of small, local newspapers. For example, the Blaine Banner. Please check with us about these.
Some things ACHS Does NOT need:
- Old newspapers. We have the Anoka County Union and the Anoka Herald newspapers preserved on microfilm, and several copies of the Centennial Edition of the Anoka County Union already in the collection. Newspapers from outside the county focusing on major national events (such as the JFK assassination) are very cool, but not right for the collections at ACHS.
- Wedding dresses from the 1940s-1950s. We have many wedding dresses from this era, covering many parts of the county. We are also generally well covered on wedding dresses from the city of Anoka.
- Sewing machines. We have several in the collection already.
- Pump organs. We have one already, and do not have space for more.
- WWI or WWII military uniforms. We have a very thorough collection of these. Photographs and stories of Anoka County veterans, however, or other types of artifacts would be of interest to us.
- Photographs with no identification. Unless we know who is in the picture, it does not tell us much about the story of Anoka County.
- Cookbooks/recipe books. We have many of these in the collection already.
We encourage you to contact us before you send or bring an artifact in! The Archivist is always happy to discuss a potential artifact donation and answer any questions you may have. You can contact us by phone, or use the Artifact Donation Interest Form found below.