Collections management is an umbrella term. It entails many components of care devoted to artifacts and collections of artifacts. Each artifact is used to depict and interpret our museum's mission. Each must add to the specific story we wish to convey to the public.

This begins with the consideration we give to all donations of articles as they relate to criteria, condition, provenance, and needs of the permanent collections at our two museums.

The next step is to determine through documentation that the donor has clear title to the piece they are offering. Donors are asked to sign a Certificate of Gift by which ownership is given to the Saline Area Historical Society. If the donor can provide information about the history of the piece (provenance), we like to know that. Each item must meet our mission requirements and each item must be in good condition.

Depot items are 19th century related or railroad related, covering the years the Saline Railroad Depot was in use: 1870-1962. Farming items cover the years 1900-1950. Household donations are limited to artifacts that might have been used in the 1930s. This includes older items that a family might have continued to own and use from earlier decades. In addition to railroad and farm items, we are very interested in anything related to 19th century Saline area history, such as letters, diaries, photographs, and abstracts.

Items must be in good condition to be considered for acceptance. Generally, we do not accept donations that need repair. We do not have trained staff to make repairs. We do not have funds to hire repairs.

Potential donations should be Saline related or things that could have been used in the Saline area during the times stated above.

Generally, there must be a need and a purpose for a donation to be accepted. Occasionally, an item will be accepted because it is in better condition than something similar already in the permanent collections.

Generally speaking, the Collections Committee meets monthly (except Dec.) to screen incoming donations and to determine the use of each artifact. Donors will be asked to sign a Certificate of Gift signifying change of ownership. A letter of acknowledgement will be mailed to the donor. Donors can use their donation as a tax deduction, to the full extent of the law, since we are a 501c3 organization. However, we do not provide appraisals.

Persons interested in making such a donation are urged to discuss the item(s) with us to determine the appropriateness of the donation. Send a message to


The Saline Area Historical Society DOES NOT accept artifacts on permanent or long-range loan.

However; there are times when we have a need to seek items from the community that might be an asset to a special display or exhibit. Such special displays or exhibits take place with a particular theme. Items from our permanent collections, together with additional items that are accepted on a short-term basis, make up such exhibits.

For many years, we had a week long historic display at the Saline Fair; examples included automobiles and transportation, building preservation, and the 75th Anniversary of the City of Saline.

Some years, summer-long displays are offered in the Exhibit Barn of the Rentschler Farm, such as the U.S. 12 exhibit . 

One room in the farmhouse has been set aside as a Display Room. 

The Saline Railroad Depot Museum has changing exhibits of Saline history. It is highly recommended that visitors stop in on a Saturday to learn more about Saline history.

To get up-to-date information on current displays and exhibits, contact us at