Frequently Asked Questions


Why aren’t all of the museums in Minnesota represented on MNCollections?

Participation in MNCollections is voluntary, and is a service of the Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums (MALHM). Interested organizations should contact MALHM to learn more. Visit the MAHLM website for more information.

Who decides what objects to contribute?

Contributing institutions decide which records and images can be made available online and are responsible for clearing all copyright and intellectual property rights. Questions about content should be directed to the associated institution. MNCollections is a working database that includes information compiled over many decades. Some of our records may contain offensive and discriminatory language, or reflect outdated ideas, practice and analysis. By sharing collections with the public, our member institutions invite dialogue with the public to review and update the records accordingly.

Why should I create a MNCollections account?

Creating an account will let you leave comments and ask questions about records. It will also let you create galleries of your favorite items which you can share with others if you wish. It’s free and easy to do, and we will not sell or share your information with anyone. View our Privacy Policy.

Can I ask a question or add information to a record?

Yes! Once you have an account you can sign in and leave a comment on any object’s record. The comments will be moderated by the individual sites and they will respond as soon as possible. Filling out the “Ask the Curator” form allows curators to respond to you directly via email. Keep in mind that many museums are volunteer-run and only open seasonally, so please be patient with them.

Why don’t all of the records have images?

Most museums have a backlog in this area, so it is a work in progress. As items are photographed and/or scanned, the website will be updated.

Can I download images for my own use?

No. All content is the property of the contributing institution. If you wish to obtain a copy of an image you see on MNCollections, you should contact the institution directly.