Artifact Donations

Can I drop my artifacts off at the History Center?

Please review the guidelines below and contact us before bringing any donation to the History Center. We encourage you to fill out the Artifact Donation Form, or you can contact us by phone or email.

Please note that ACHS reserves the right to dispose of any unsolicited items delivered to or dropped off at the History Center.

The Anoka County Historical Society accepts many different kinds of artifacts; everything from documents and photographs, 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 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 cannot 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 can’t tell us much about the story of Anoka County.


If an artifact is truly falling apart, is too fragile to be handled, or presents a mold or pest concern, then we cannot 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. Generally, we do not accept duplicate items.


Donation Guidelines

Please review these guidelines, then fill out the Artifact Donation Form.

Yes Please!

  • 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.

  • Photographs, stories, and artifacts (including uniforms) from Anoka County veterans or current service members involved in the last 30 years of U.S. military operations (Gulf War to present). Complete uniforms preferred.

  • Histories or records of businesses and organizations in Anoka County.

Good Fit

  • Identified photographs, stories, or artifacts from any part of Anoka County. The more story (historical context) that an artifact has to go with it, the better. Please tell us everything you know about the item.

  • Photographs, stories, and artifacts from any Anoka County veterans, of any service branch or time period. We will consider uniforms (except WWI or WWII), and will give preference to complete uniforms.

  • Yearbooks from schools other than Anoka High School. Please contact us with the school and year of the book you are interested in donating.

Possible Fit

  • Anoka High School Yearbooks. We have many Anoka High School yearbooks, but are still missing some years. Please contact us with the 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.

  • Cookbooks/recipe books. We have many of these in the collection already, but would be interested in any that we don’t already have. We cannot accept duplicates.

Not A Good Fit

  • 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 cool, but not right for the collections at ACHS.

  • Personal scrapbooks composed only or primarily of newspaper and magazine clippings.

  • Wedding dresses from the 1940s-1950s. We have many wedding dresses from this era, covering many parts of the county. We also have many wedding dresses from the city of Anoka, regardless of time period. We will be selective about accepting any wedding dresses.

  • Sewing machines or typewriters. We have several in the collection already.

  • Pump organs. We have two 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 or what is in the picture, it does not tell us much about the story of Anoka County.

Does your artifact fall into one of the top three categories?

Fill out the Artifact Donation Form!

Still have questions?

See our FAQ.