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Request for Access to Artifact Collection

It is the policy of the Minnesota Historical Society to make the collections confided to its care accessible, conduct and encourage scholarly research, and, through these efforts, continue to illuminate the Minnesota story for the cultural enrichment of people everywhere. The wealth of these collections are accessible physically at the History Center museum/historic sites and intellectually through the documentation. Public admittance to collections that are not in public viewing areas is provided by appointment and is generally restricted to guided tours and to patrons for the purpose of research or examination.

All requests for access to artifact collections are reviewed and administered by the Collections Department and/or Historic Sites (for those collections at an historic site). Access for research or examination may be limited by policy, space and staff availability, or care and security of the collections. The Minnesota Historical Society may charge a use fee if it is determined that the time and/or materials required of the department exceeds the average limits of staff time (see conditions below). The Collections Department also provides a listing of private consultants available to conduct collections research. This listing is for public information only and in no manner endorses these private individuals or firms. Collections information or images are furnished to users without representation or warranty on the part of the Minnesota Historical Society as to any rights and the use thereof shall be entirely at the user's risk. Commercial use requires prior negotiation with the Collections Department.

All applicants requesting access to artifact collections are asked to read the following before submitting their request.

  1. Applicant will follow guidelines as outlined by authorized staff. Absolutely no food or drink is allowed in research or storage areas. All briefcases and bags must be left outside of collections storage areas. Extreme care must be used in handling any artifacts.
  2. The Minnesota Historical Society reserves the right to request a reference from researchers and requests that a copy of the final report, publication, product or any auxiliary materials created by users/researchers be filed with the department within a reasonable period.
  3. The Minnesota Historical Society reserves the right to charge a user fee if it is determined that the time and/or materials required in providing access exceed the average limits of staff time. This may include cost of materials and a charge of $25.00 per hour for direct staff time in excess of two hours. Special request tour/study groups have a suggested honorarium of $100.00-$150.00.
  4. By submitting your request, user acknowledges that use, copy or provision of any collections documentation or images to any other person or entity may be prohibited by intellectual property laws, rights of privacy or publicity unless user has received all necessary consents. Further, user agrees to defend and indemnify and save and hold the Minnesota Historical Society, members of governing bodies, its officials, agents and its employees or designates, harmless from and against any and all liability, including costs and expenses, based on the violation of rights of ownership, infringement of copyrights, or invasions of rights of privacy, resulting from use of such materials or copies furnished pursuant hereto.
  5. Reproduction of collections material, as a pattern, artistic rendering, or otherwise, is negotiated on a case-by-case basis and is also subject to applicable intellectual property laws, copyright and trademark.

I have read the above and I understand and agree to abide by these regulations of the Minnesota Historical Society’s Collections Department. Further, I assume full responsibility for any damage, accidental or otherwise, that I may cause to any material held by the Minnesota Historical Society.

Please contact the Collections Department at 651-259-3252 or by e-mail at collections@mnhs.org.