The Dubuque County Historical Society relies on the generosity of donors to expand and refine its collections in line with its mission to “explore life of the Dubuque area, the Mississippi River, and the rivers of America and their global connections, and to research, interpret, educate and promote the conservation of their historical and natural environment.”

All items offered for the Society’s collection are carefully reviewed by staff and the Collections Committee before they are approved and accepted. To assist with the review process, donors are asked to provide photographs and information before bringing their items to the museum. Items brought to the museum without contacting staff first may not be accepted.

The quality and relevance of the collections are vital to the mission of the Dubuque County Historical Society. Therefore, acquisitions should meet the following criteria:

1. Shall be relevant to the mission, purpose and priorities of the Dubuque County Historical Society and/or the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

2. The museum must be able to store, protect, preserve and care for acquisitions in keeping with professionally accepted standards.

3. Acquisitions must be accompanied by a valid legal title, obtained free and clear, to be transferred without restrictions to the Dubuque County Historical Society. All donations are considered outright, irrevocable and unconditional gifts to the Society to be used at the discretion of the museum.

4. Acquisitions should not duplicate examples of items already present in the permanent collection of equal or superior quality.

5. The Society will not knowingly acquire any item derived from illicit trade and shall subscribe to UNESCO guidelines regarding illicit import, export or transfer or ownership of cultural property.

To donate to the Society’s collections, please contact the Collections Manager/Registrar and include a description of the item(s) you wish to donate, where you got the item(s) and who they belonged to previously, and at least one photograph of the item(s).

Download an Item Donation Form

Union Soldier Boarding Steamboat