From the St. Casimir Church bell to the Daniel's Security neon sign, the collections at the Wyandotte County Museum include many unique items. The history of Wyandotte County can be viewed in our artifacts highlighted in our exhibits. Many of our oldest artifacts belong to the Trowbridge collection. We also have a collection of Native American artifacts as well as county items from individuals, businesses and organizations.
The Wyandotte County Museum recently updated to a new database system for our collection records. Museum staff is working diligently to check and upload these records to our new database system. Eventually we will have a publicly searchable platform for our collections, but for the short term we are making finding aids available. In addition, there is a large collection of historic photographs, books, journals and other archival materials in the Barton P. Cohen Research Library. The library is available by appointment.
Where Do Museums Get Their Collections?
As with many county museums, most of our collection has been donated by forward thinking individuals. The Wyandotte County Historical Society has been collecting since the mid 1950s. Today, the museum holds over 75,000 objects, documents, and photographs. The Wyandotte County Museum looks to these objects for research and ever changing exhibits. In order to have balanced collections, the Wyandotte County Museum is seeking a wide variety of objects and stories to represent all people in the county's history.
The museum is seeking objects that help tell under-represented community stories and/or focus on events from the 1950s to the present. We are most interested in objects with direct connections to Wyandotte County. For example, if someone offers the museum a work uniform, we want to know who wore it, in what years, and for what job. Photographs showing the the person in their uniform are ideal.
If you are interested in donating a Wyandotte County artifact to the museum, please contact staff prior to delivery to ensure that it fits within our collecting mission. Photographs of the potential donation are always helpful. All potential donations are reviewed by the Historical Society's Collection Committee. Objects considered for acquisition will be subject to four prioritized qualifications:
- Does the object have known, detailed provenance (history) to Wyandotte County?
- If an object is already duplicated in the collection, is the offered object a better example for the collection?
- Is the proposed object in stable condition?
- Does the museum have the resources and space to properly house and preserve the item?
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