Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How is the Chippewa Valley Museum funded?

It can vary quite a bit year by year, but here's a recent breakdown of our operating budget. Earned income: 17 percent. Special gifts and grants: 29 percent. Membership: 20 percent. Local government (city and county combined): 22 percent. Investment return, fundraising, events, and other: 13 percent.

Q: Where is the thing that I (or my relative, or my neighbor) donated? I don't see it on display.

The museum preserves more than 23,000 objects. Roughly 1,300 are on display in museum exhibits, with another 1,600 on display in the three historic structures we interpret: the Anderson Log Home, Sunnyview School, and the Schlegelmilch House. In other words, at any given time, less than 13% of our collection is visible to the public.

The Permanent Collection is used primarily for exhibition and programmatic research. We don't collect artifacts that we never intend to exhibit, but some objects will not be on exhibit very often.

Q: Do you ever get rid of things (artifacts) you've collected?

We do, but we don't do so lightly. The artifacts that leave the museum (in museum-speak, they are "deaccessioned") are either in poor condition, redundant, duplicated by artifacts with better documentation, or inappropriate to our mission.
Methods of disposal include transferring items to other historical or educational organizations, or very rarely public sale. Proceeds from any public sale are placed in a restricted fund for acquisitions and conservation.