It is safe to estimate that the Morrison County Historical Society (MCHS) owns thousands of three-dimensional artifacts, documents, photos, and books in its collection, all generously donated by people who care about the history of Morrison County, Minnesota.
When you visit The Charles A. Weyerhaeuser Memorial Museum, home of MCHS in Little Falls, MN, you’ll quickly realize that we don’t have all of these items on display. And why not? If all of it were put on display at once, the visual clutter would soon be overwhelming and it’d be difficult for us to tell a cohesive story with the jumble of artifacts. Aside from that, it’s not good for collections items to be on display all the time. Light, dust, and other environmental factors work to deteriorate artifacts, sometimes at an alarmingly fast rate.
The majority of MCHS’s collections are kept in climate-controlled rooms in special archival boxes that help to preserve them for the long term. Just because an item is not on display does not mean it has no value or that it will never be used. Artifacts serve a variety of educational purposes within the museum. They can …
- Be used by researchers to study a wide range of topics (even the three-dimensional artifacts can be used for this)
- Be used for special short-term exhibits
- Be visited by donors and their relatives
- Appear in the MCHS newsletter, on the website, or in other MCHS publications and digital presentations
- Be used as teaching tools during museum classes
- Enlighten researchers and museum staff through comparisons to other items in the collection
It is the conglomeration of the entire collection that provides the most complete view of the history of Morrison County. And the collection continues to grow.
The Exhibits section of the Morrison County Historical Society’s website is an attempt to put more of our vast collection on display. We’re starting with the Heirloom Arts Exhibit in hopes that this site will continue to grow. (Click the image below to view the exhibit.)