Donate to the Collection

The museum regularly acquires new artifacts and archival pieces for its permanent collection for display and study at Naper Settlement through the generosity of individuals, businesses and estates. Nearly all items acquired by the Naperville Heritage Society for the permanent museum collections are donated or part of a bequest. All acquisitions assist in enhancing our collections and fulfilling our role as caretakers and interpreters of our city's rich heritage and history.

Types of Artifacts Collected

The Naperville Heritage Society's permanent collections include nearly 80,000 two and three-dimensional items including:

  • Household and industrial objects
  • Furniture, clothing, textiles, paintings, sculptures, architectural fragments, transportation artifacts and agricultural implements
  • Prints, photographs, films, audio / video tapes and multimedia
  • Business, institutional and personal archives, such as original manuscripts and documents, including diaries, letters, ledgers and journals

Collecting Scope

The Naperville Heritage Society collecting scope currently emphasizes the following considerations:

  • Materials produced or used in Naperville
  • Materials that pertain directly to Naperville businesses, churches / religious organizations, schools, city government / services and social or residential life, since the town's founding
  • Materials that pertain to personages who were residents of Naperville, as well as those who frequented Naperville for commerce, educational and religious purposes and the like
  • Materials that are representative of typical Northern Illinois community life

Collection Wish List

Naper Settlement tells the story of Naperville's history from the 1830s through today. The Naperville Heritage Society is actively seeking the following items, used by Naperville residents, for its permanent collections:

  • Items from Naperville video game arcades, bowling alleys, movie theaters, mini golf courses and local theater productions
  • Costumes, pictures, programs and other items related to dance, gymnastics and tumbling programs offered through Naperville schools and dance studios
  • Musical instruments and other items related to the Naperville Municipal Band, school bands and local garage bands
  • Artwork by local artists, Naperville school art projects and items related to the Naperville Art League
  • Sports uniforms, equipment and memorabilia, including sports programs at Naperville schools, Naperville Park District, clubs and the YMCA
  • Scouting uniforms and other memorabilia from Naperville troops
  • Products and materials related to Naperville businesses, such as the Naperville Lounge Company (later known as Kroehler Manufacturing Company), Naperville Bag Company, Knoch Cigar Store, Stenger Brewery, etc.
  • Photographic items that document Naperville from its founding until present day
  • Objects and two-dimensional items related to sporting events, activities and sites in the town, such as baseball, basketball, Burlington Park, etc.
  • Copies of home movies documenting Naperville families during holiday and celebratory events, such as birthdays, baptisms and christenings, first communions, bar and bat mitzvahs, confirmations, graduations, etc.
  • Everyday garments and accessories worn by Napervillians, such as clothing of the middle- and working-class from Naperville's founding in 1831 up the present day
  • Materials related to political activity within the City of Naperville

If you have materials to donate please email the Registrar at 630.548.1115.