Donating to the Southern Minnesota Historical Center

Collection Overview

The Southern Minnesota Historical Center (SMHC) is a manuscript repository that documents the history of south central Minnesota. The SMHC includes personal papers, organizational and business records, oral histories, and more. The counties specifically included in this region are: Blue Earth, Brown, Faribault, Freeborn, LeSueur, Martin, Nicollet, Rice, Sibley, Steele, Waseca, and Watonwan.


  • Minnesota State Mankato Student Life and Activities
  • Rural life and activities
  • Ethnic/multicultural life and activities
  • Organizational records (ex. Service, social, book, and religious clubs)
  • Business records (active and defunct businesses)
  • Oral histories (contact us if you are interested in participating in any of our ongoing projects)
  • Anniversary celebrations (organizations, churches, communities, etc.)
  • Personal diaries, letters, e-mails, photographs
  • Political papers of area legislators

Who donates to this collection?

Materials for this collection come from individuals, organizations, and businesses with some current or previous affiliation with south central Minnesota.

What format of materials can be donated to the Southern Minnesota Historical Center?

The nature of an Archives is to collect primarily print based material but as technology changes so does the Archives. We currently accept: paper, books (ledgers, diaries, scrapbooks), audio and video cassette, CDs, DVDs, photographs, blueprints, maps, artifacts (smaller items only), and electronic records (in limited quantities). If you have a format not listed that you would like to donate, please contact the Archives and Special Collections Librarian.

Accepting donated materials to the Southern Minnesota Historical Center

Only the Archives and Special Collections Librarian can formally accept collections. Please contact the Archivist before sending any material to the Archives. All donors will be asked to sign a Donor Agreements addressing title and rights ownership.


While there are many worthy historical collections, the Archives cannot accept all donated material. The Archives reserves the right to refuse a collection that exceeds its financial and materials resources to care for it, or that has too high a maintenance cost in proportion to the probable research benefits. If the collection is not within the collecting scope of the Archives, the Archivist will make every effort to help the donor find a more appropriate repository. If the collecting focus of the Archives changes, the Archivist has the option of removing collections that no longer reflect the nature of the Archives.

General Information about Donating Personal or Family Papers to an Archives or Donating Your Organizational Records to an Archives can be found on the Society of American Archivists website.