It happens all the time. Someone stops in to the museum, takes a look around, and realizes they have a couple of items that would be just perfect for the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center collection. “Those sound really neat,” the person behind the front desk tells the visitor, “but, unfortunately, we can’t accept them right now.”
With 2000 square ft. museum, exhibit space is extremely limited at Chik-Wauk and there isn’t any “wiggle” room in the permanent exhibit to squeeze in additional artifacts. Rather than accept items we’re not sure how or when we’ll use, since the museum opening day in 2010, the Gunflint Trail Historical Society has had a moratorium on accepting new artifacts into the GTHS permanent collection. When we have archival storage available on the museum site and additional exhibit space, we will once again start accepting artifacts.
However, that doesn’t mean that we don’t want to hear about or see your item. If you have an item you feel is just perfect for the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center collection, we invite you to fill out an Artifact Donation Form. (Before submitting the form, you may wish to review our Collections_Policy to make sure the item really is a good fit for us.) Upon receiving your completed Artifact Donation Form, the GTHS acquisition committee will review your artifact and get back to you shortly about how we’d like to proceed with the donation process. In most cases, we will ask you to commit to holding onto the artifact for the next five years. We may contact you at any time in those five years to officially receive the item into our collection.
There are a few items we will accept without going through the Artifact Donation Form process. Books for our reading corner are always welcome as long as they aren’t duplicates of books already on our shelves. We’d also love any historic photos from the Gunflint Trail that you’re willing to gift or simply loan so we scan them into our collection and then return the originals to you.
Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have about donating artifacts to the museum at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-388-9915. The Gunflint Trail Historical Society’s goal is to preserve the history of the Gunflint Trail and its early settlers for residents, guests, travelers, and future generations and your photos, artifacts, and stories play an important role in that preservation.