The Swedish American Museum thrives on the generosity of donors and volunteers. Nearly all of the artifacts in our collections have been donated by individuals, businesses and organizations. The Swedish American Museum collects items that contribute to the narrative we tell about immigration, the Swedish communities here in North America, and Swedish and Swedish-American culture.

We have artifacts of all types, including archival material, photographs, domestic items, textiles, decorative and fine art. Items accepted into our permanent collection are used for display and research only. We also have an education collection of artifacts for use in hands-on programming in the Brunk Children’s Museum, a library collection for on-site research and a properties and furnishings collection for building decoration and display props.

Temporary hold on donations for the collection.

We are excited to announce that we have received a large grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and their Museum For America project to update our beloved “Dream of America” exhibit.

The Museum has fundraised and planned for this update during the last five to six years. The main exhibit will be closed during the first four months of 2023 and will reopen in the fall of 2023 as “We Are America”.

During the period November 2021 through December 2023 we have elected to put a temporary hold on accepting items for the collection. This means we will not accept any items into our permanent collection until further notice. This will enable us to reserve our remaining collections storage space to safely house artifacts currently on display in our “Dream of America” exhibit during the space’s renovation over the next two years.

If you have a special item and that you want to donate now, please contact Karin Moen Abercrombie, our executive director. We will reevaluate our collecting needs and capacity to accept donations in 2024. If you would like to make a donation to our collection, please click here to review our collections policy. Frequently asked questions about artifact donation can be found here.

If you have any questions about the Museum’s collections or would like to set up a research appointment, please contact us at or 773-728-8111.