Preserving the Past: Bring your old items in

Published 9:00 am Saturday, June 10, 2017

Preserving the Past by Kim Nelson

Kim Nelson is the executive director of the Freeborn County Historical Museum, Library and Village, 1031 Bridge Ave.

I have noticed at the museum that many people ask us about taking their “old things.” We are happy to take items to have in our archives. This process is called accessioning. There is quite a process to doing this. 

Kim Nelson

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First, we may ask you its significance to Freeborn County. It is the mission of the museum to focus on this area in our displays and exhibits. We may also check the condition of the item(s). If we agree the owner is still wanting to accession the item to the museum, there is some paperwork that needs to be filled out. Once that paperwork is filled out, the museum owns the property that has been accessioned. We give each item a number, take a picture of it and write a description of the item for our records. The donor will also get a copy of the accession sheet.

An important point to make is that we are not able to display or exhibit everything that is brought in. One reason is for the preservation of the item. Displaying or exhibiting an item may damage the item. We may also have something very similar on display. We do try and rotate items as frequently as possible. If we rotate items, the life of all items will be longer.

We are hoping for residents to look through their treasures to see if they have old cameras from the ’60s through present day or phones from the 1970s through present day that they’re not using. This would include mobile phones and cordless phones.

The museum does have a shortage of items from the ’80s, ’90s and the turn of the century. Many of the children who visit think anything older than when they were born was from the pioneer era.

For more information, call 507-373-8003, email or visit the museum from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.

Watch for my weekly Facebook Live video, too. Also, you can hear me on KATE and The Breeze radio shows Sunday and Monday mornings for updates from the museum.