Getting Oriented

Welcome to Minnesota Alliance of Local History Museums’ public website MNCollections! This website lets you explore the collections of museums from across Minnesota. You can browse through objects to see what there is to find, or search to see specific records. Return to the home page at any time by clicking on MNCollections in the top left corner.


You can see all the collections found on MNCollections by clicking Browse in the Explore menu.

Perform a basic search of all the collections on MNCollections by using the search bar. The search bar appears by clicking the magnifying glass in the top right corner of every page. A search in this box will look through every field in an object’s record. Once you perform a search, you can click on “Full Results” and filter for more specific results.

You can search in specific fields by using the Advanced Search function, found under the Explore menu. For example, if you type dress in the basic search, you will get every record with the word dress. If you use the Advanced Search form, you can type “Dress” in the Object Name field and only find records for dresses.

You can change the way you view your results by using the icons on the right side of the blue bar on the results screen. The timeline will order objects by the date they were created.


Filters let you make your search more specific by narrowing down your results. You can add filters by selecting them from the column on the right-hand side of your screen. Applied filters will appear in a row at the top of your search results. To remove a filter, simply click the “X” next to the filter’s name.

Registering with MNCollections

This is your chance to get involved! Registered users can create Galleries of artifacts. These Galleries can be kept to yourself, or published to the site so that others can enjoy them.

Once you are registered, we encourage you to comment on object records. Share your stories and expertise about that artifact or ones like it. Correct errors you see. Help us enrich our history by telling us what you know.

If you want to send a private message about a record, use the “Ask a Curator” form found under the object’s image. The museum’s curator will be in touch via email.