Since its inception in 1959, the Wapello County Historical Society has become the proud keeper archival artifacts that tell the history of the communities of Wapello County, Iowa from prehistory to today.
The Archives contains a vast assemblage of artifacts from every walk of life; from prehistoric Native American tools to relics of the Industrial Age, and public and private items unique to Wapello County. This collection includes photographs, architectural drawings and blueprints, manuscripts, personal papers and documents, business/industrial papers and documents, advertising, locally published newspapers, scrapbooks, military records, bound volumes, and audio, video and film footage.
Interested in Donating to the Wapello County Historical Museum’s Collection?
Thank you for your interest in contributing another piece of history to the Wapello County Historical Society. As keeper of the community’s memory, The Wapello County Historical Museum’s collection reflect the people who have lived here. These collections encompass the heritage of Wapello County, Iowa. Many of those items in our collection are the result of donations from individuals, families, and organizations. Donated items are preserved at the museum to be used for research, interpretation of community history, and as artifacts in exhibits and educational programs.
If you are interested in donating items to the museum, please complete the Donation Form, and allow 20 days for processing. If you have any questions, please contact the Wapello County Historical Society & Museum by phone at (641) 982-8676, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
***Please Note: Artifacts cannot be accepted without prior communication with Collections staff.
Please Read These FAQ’s About Donating Items to the Wapello County Historical Society & Museum
How Are My Donations Reviewed to be Accepted Into the Collection?
Once a Donation Form is received, the item(s) presented will first be reviewed by a member of the Collections staff who will then make the recommendation to the museum’s Collections Management Committee. This committee is made up of staff knowledgeable in both the scope of the museum’s collection as well as the conservation issues associated with artifact and document care.
This committee uses several questions as guidelines to evaluate the potential of an item. These questions are:
Does the object fit with the museum’s Mission and Collections
Does the object represent a significant event, person, community, place, business, or organization in Wapello County, Iowa?
Does the object represent a milestone or pivotal point in history?
Does the object represent a unique material, technique, or design?
Does the object fill a void in, duplicate an item in, or support items in the existing collection?
Is there documentation (written or oral) on the object?
What is the overall condition of the object?
What impact would the object have on available storage space?
The committee uses these criteria as specified in the museum’s Collections Management Policy to guide its decisions. This policy also specifies the current areas of our collections.
To view a copy of our Collections Management Policy, Please click the link below:
What Happens after the Collections Committee Makes Its Decision?
The museum’s Registrar will contact individuals via phone or email and inform them of the decision. Further discussion on the next steps will take place at that time.
Will an Item I Donate be on Display?
The Wapello County Historical Society cannot guarantee that any objects or documents donated to its collection will be exhibited unless expressly collected for that purpose. Only a small fraction of the collection is on view at any given time. This minimizes the risk of damage to artifacts and documents and helps us preserve those items for future generations. However, artifacts and documents can be made accessible for research purposes.
If My Item is Not on Display, Can I See It?
If you have donated an item to the collection and it is not on display, please know that it has been properly stored in the best materials to promote preservation of its current condition, and will remain so until removed for exhibition or research purposes. If you would like to see an item you donated, use the Artifact for Research Request form. Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing.
How Can I Use an Item for Research Purposes?
Items belonging to the Wapello County Historical Society can be made available for researchers. This is by appointment only. If you would like to use an artifact from the collection for research, fill out the Research Request Form click here . Please allow 3-4 weeks for processing, at which time staff will respond to those requests.
Is My Donation Tax Deductible?
Yes. The Wapello County Historical Museum is recognized as a qualified charitable organization, making the fair market value of a donation generally tax deductible. To take advantage of your deduction, you must file tax form 1040 and, depending on the value of your donation, tax form 8283. It is recommended that you consult with your own accountant, attorney, or the IRS to ensure that you receive the maximum tax benefit. You may also consult Internal Revenue Service Publication No. 526, Charitable Contributions, and Publication No. 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property
Can the Museum Give Me an Appraisal of My Donation?
The Wapello County Historical Society & Museum does not provide appraisals of materials proposed for donation or for any other reason. Because the Internal Revenue Service regards museums and libraries as interested parties, monetary appraisals prepared for donors by such institutions are subject to question or disqualification. However, professional appraisers will perform this service for a fee. To find a licensed appraiser in your area, contact one of the following organizations for a referral.
Society of Appraisers
Society of Appraisers
Association of America
Please know that we recommend getting an appraisal of items prior to proposing them to the museum for donation. All fees associated with appraisal are the responsibility of the donor.
Can I Loan an Item to the Museum?
Yes, The Wapello County Historical Society & Museum does borrow items for exhibit. In addition to the museum’s artifacts, we sometimes borrow items that are not represented in our collection from other cultural institutions, businesses, or individuals to enhance our exhibits. However, the museum is unable to accept long term loans, loans for an unspecified period of time, or items that are not related to a specific exhibit. We may seek artifacts in support of upcoming exhibits, but these loans are for a limited time, typically no more than 12 months, and are based on our needs as determined by the collection staff.