Adopt An Artifact

Adopt an Artifact Link to Purchase

So many artifacts, so little time…

Would you believe that it costs nearly $40,000 in utilities, facility costs, and supplies just to keep the collection items perched on a shelf and displayed in the gallery? With staff time added on top of that…well, we need your help to maintain the great quality of service to Anoka County that we have since 1935.

Adopt one of the artifacts in the ACHS collection for a year and help with the cost of preserving it at the best museum standards.

Artifact Adoption Levels

Patron Level—$50

  • Your name acknowledged in the History21 Newsletter and on the Adoption Wall in History Center Exhibit Gallery
  • Thank You letter from the ACHS Director
  • Certificate of Adoption with history of your artifact
  • 5×7 photograph of your artifact
  • One ACHS history booklet of your choice

Benefactor Level—$100

  • All benefits of the Patron Level, PLUS
  • 8×10 photograph of your artifact, instead of 5×7
  • Two ACHS history booklets of your choice, OR one 8×10 Jon Arfstrom art print of your choice

Guardian Level—$200

  • All benefits of the Benefactor Level, PLUS
  • A 45 minute chat with ACHS Archivist for you and up to 25 of your friends. See your artifact in person, and talk to Audra about preserving your family heirlooms.

All donations go toward preserving, housing, and maintaining the collections at ACHS at a regulated temperature and humidity, with periodic assessment by the collections team to make sure they are properly housed in acid-free archival materials, and inventoried to help tell the story of Anoka County.

How to Choose Your Adopted Artifact

You can adopt a specific artifact if you have one in mind, you can come to the History Center to choose one, or you can let the ACHS Archivist choose one for you. You can also specify a category like quilts or photographs or clothing. Contact Audra with any questions.

Adopt Your Artifact Here

Historical Artifact Donations

Boxes of artifacts on shelvesNotice: There is a moratorium on Artifact Donations for the months of January and February, 2018. Exceptions include any artifacts being donated as part of our Recent Veterans History Project. Please contact the ACHS Archivist if you have any questions. Thank you for your patience!

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.

Historical Context

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.

A historical artifact collectionCondition

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.

Artifact Donation Interest Form

Use this form to describe any artifact(s) that you are interested in donating to the Anoka County Historical Society.
  • About You

  • About the Artifact(s)

  • Upload images or PDF files that help describe the artifact(s).

    You can use this form to upload a maximum of four (4) jpg, gif, png, and pdf files, with a total file size of 4MB or less.

    Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, gif, png, pdf.
    • Thank You for your support

    • We appreciate your interest in donating to the Anoka County Historical Society's artifact collection. We will review your artifact information and respond to you as soon as possible. Our archivist may contact you with additional questions regarding your artifact(s).

      Thank you for your support of the Anoka County Historical Society.

    • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

    Fridley Historical Society Celebrates the Holidays – 1960s Style!

    Our friends with the Fridley Historical Society have opened a new exhibition focusing on Christmas in the 1960s.


    The Fridley Historical Society exhibit includes historic vignettes, operating train set, activities for children and adults, trivia contest and Christmas treats for all! The 1960s was a time of Beatles, Twiggy, Go Go boots, Beads, Peace signs, Bell Bottoms, Flower Power, Hippies & Tie Dye.

    The exhibit is FREE, and the hours we’re open for guests at the Fridley History Center (located at 611 Mississippi St., Fridley)  are Saturdays from 11-3 now through December 20, and Tuesdays 2-4 through December 16.

    Oral History Collection

    Did you know that our oral history collection contains more than 250 interviews? Interview topics include World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and memories of Anoka County people, places and events from long-time county residents.

    All oral interview audio files are available in the ACHS Reading Room, and we have a number of typed transcripts available online.

    Find out more about our Oral History Collection.