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How to Donate Items

Do you have something you’d like to donate?

Because the large historical impact and interest in Linn County, we rely upon the community to donate precious items for research and display.

If you have something you’d like to donate, please take a minute to read our mission statement (below). It will help you understand our collecting focus.

Our Mission: The History Center preserves and tells the story of Linn County, Iowa.

Please note that we primarily are interested in collections or single items which relate to the culture or interests of the people of Linn County, and items associated with the history of Linn County in particular. There are some exceptions to this rule, however, and it is best to contact the curator directly when in doubt. We urge you to contact us because your generous gift may fill a gap in our collections.

Here are some of the things we collect:

  • Yearbooks from Linn County Schools

  • Books and periodicals, personal papers (unpublished letters, diaries, etc.)

  • Photographs and audiovisual materials

  • Items manufactured in Linn County

  • Maps and architectural drawings

  • Clothing worn by residents of Linn County

If you have something really special but want to keep it for yourself, we can scan photographs, maps, and manuscripts to make their content available to researchers (subject to possible copyright restrictions).​

To make an offer of donation:

If you have an item you think is appropriate for our collections, please contact the museum curator at or call 319-200-6829.


  • Please understand that the Linn County Historical Society cannot accept every artifact that is offered. We must take into account the condition of each item, assess how the item fits into our existing collection, determine whether we have adequate space, decide whether the item aligns with our mission, and many other considerations.

  • DO NOT bring or mail artifacts to the museum without expressed permission of museum staff. We do not always have a staff person onsite to accept deliveries. We cannot be held responsible for unsolicited items, nor can we devote time to finding a different home for your items. If you send an unsolicited donation, you will be contacted to arrange for the items to be returned to you. If this is impossible, disposal of the items may be required.

  • The museum does not accept items with restrictions, for example, stipulations regarding how the item will be used or displayed. Once donated, the artifacts will be carefully preserved and can potentially be used for a number of purposes, including, but not limited to, exhibition and research.

Staff will evaluate all items offered to the Museum. The evaluation process may take from two to three weeks up to two months. The more information you provide us on its history, the better. If we decide to add it to our collections, we will send you a gift agreement to sign and return, this transfers ownership of the item to The History Center.


We are sorry, but we are unable to provide appraisals. If a value is needed for tax purposes, potential donors should seek a professional appraisal service.

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