Request for Access to Museum Collections

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 museum collections are reviewed and administered by the Museum Collections Department and/or Historic Sites (for those collections at an historic site). Additional information about the collections and access is available at the Society's web 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 user 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 Museum 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 Museum Collections Department.


All applicants requesting access to museum 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 Museum 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.

Questions may be directed to the Museum Collections Department at 651/296-8071 or by e-mail to

Please complete all parts of the following form before submitting. After submitting form, if you do not receive acknowledgment of receipt please call Museum Collections.

** Indicates items that are required in order to process your request.

Access to Museum Collections Request Form

Name: **
Address: **
City: **
State: **
Postal Code: **
Daytime Phone: **
Fax Number:
E-mail Address:
(check all that apply)
Examine Artifacts
Use of Museum Collections Records/Library
Draw/Photograph Artifacts

** Describe, in detail, the type of collections and/or documentation you wish to see (research of collections records/documentation will generally precede any appointments to research collections from storage):

** Museum Collections Department hours are Tuesday—Friday, 8:30 a.m.—4:30 p.m., by appointment. Hours at Historic Sites vary and are often seasonal. Requests for access to collections should be submitted at least two—three weeks prior to requested appointment date. Please identify the dates and times that you are interested in having access provided:

** Indicates items that are required in order to process your request.