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Donate an Artifact

The Michigan Historical Museum collects artifacts that relate to the history, culture and people of Michigan. The museum relies primarily on individual donations from private citizens. The collections include more than 100,000 artifacts ranging from farm tools to elegant 19th-century textiles and streamlined 20th-century automobiles.

The Michigan Historical Museum considers offers of three-dimensional objects related to Michigan's history for its permanent collections, exhibits and educational programs.

Artifact selection is based on the following criteria:

  • The item must pertain to Michigan history;

  • The item must fall within the museum's mission and its collection;

  • The item's physical condition must be acceptable for potential exhibit use;

  • The museum must be able to properly store and provide long-term care for the item; and

Other factors considered include the object's rarity, its exhibit potential, the number of similar items already in the collection and the object's personal history.

The Collections Review Committee reviews and approves artifact donations on a bimonthly basis. We make our decisions based on the artifact's historical connection to Michigan, its physical condition and its exhibit potential. Because our space for exhibits and for artifact storage is very limited, we sometimes cannot accept desirable artifacts offered to our museum.

If you would like to donate objects to the Michigan Historical Museum, print and fill out the artifact donation information form [PDF] and mail to:

Collections Unit
Michigan Historical Museum
Michigan Historical Center
P.O. Box 30740
702 W. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing, MI 48909-8240

If you would like more information, please contact the museum's Collections Unit at (517) 335-2782 or send us an e-mail.

Visit the online exhibit, Thanks for the Memories, to see a sampling of the artifacts from our collections and read about some of the donors. The "Michigan' s Memories" page explains more about our collecting philosophy.

Contact the Michigan Historical Museum.

Updated 10/04/2010

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