Collections

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With over 250,000 artifacts in collections, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is the second largest museum in the state of Michigan based on collection size. The collections span dozens of categories, from automobiles to zoology, from furniture to fossils, and beyond. While only a small percentage of the Museum’s holdings are on exhibit at any given time, the GRPM provides virtual access to give the public a more complete look at the scope and depth of the collections.

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Research

The Grand Rapids Public Museum’s collections contain hundreds of thousands of artifacts, specimens, documents, and photographs that are an invaluable resource to historians, scientists, artists, genealogists, collectors, and other interested researchers. The Museum’s Collections Department attempts to answer all collections-related research questions, as well as making many of its collections available to qualified researchers. To contact the Collections Department, email Alex Forist, Collections Curator.

  • Collections staff can answer questions about specific objects in the Museum’s collection.
  • Collections staff will attempt to answer questions about objects you own based on information in the Museum’s collections.
  • Collections staff can provide you with basic conservation and preservation information about how to keep your own artifacts and family treasures safe.
  • The Museum does NOT have a conservator on staff, and does not do restoration work for the general public.
  • Museum staff does NOT appraise objects, nor can we recommend specific appraisers. If you have an object you would like appraised, you can start by contacting one of the national professional organizations of appraisers, the American Society of Appraisers and the Appraisers Association of America.

Donations

Do you have interesting artifacts that you would like to share with the community? Donate to our collections today!

The GRPM is always accepting new objects for the Museum’s collections. If you have something that you would like to donate, please contact us:

  • Send an email to Alex Forist, Collections Curator
  • Send a letter addressed to “Collections Curator”, Grand Rapids Public Museum, 272 Pearl St NW, Grand Rapids MI 49504

Please be sure to include your contact information, and a detailed description (including pictures) of the item(s) you would like to donate.

  • Always make arrangements with Museum staff BEFORE bringing your donation to the Museum. We have special procedures and legal paperwork that must be filled out to document all donations.
  • Donation offers are reviewed periodically by Museum staff. Please note, we cannot possibly accept every donation that is offered. Museum staff will notify potential donors whether or not their donation has been accepted.
  • Because the Grand Rapids Public Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, donations accepted are tax-deductable. Donors are responsible for establishing the value of their donation for tax purposes, the Museum cannot provide appraisals or recommend specific appraisers.