Traveling Trunk Program

Bring history to life

The Minnesota Military Museum offers a Traveling Trunk Program to help bring history to life in schools, libraries, other museums, or youth groups. Each trunk focuses on a specific war and contains an assortment of items—original or reproduction—that would have been commonly used by soldiers during that time in our nation’s history. The contents of these trunks can be used for research, exhibition, or as a hands-on educational resource that piques student interest in history by engaging them in object-based learning.

Users are encouraged to contact local veterans or veterans organizations if they would like to add a human perspective to the artifacts in the trunks.

Trunks are available for the Civil War, World War One, World War Two, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Scroll down to “What’s in the Trunk” to see contents.

Trunk FAQs:

How do I reserve a Traveling Trunk?

Download and fill out a Traveling Trunk Loan Agreement form. Then mail it to the museum, fax it, or scan it and send as a PDF attachment in an email. The agreement form must be received at least two weeks prior to the desired date of use. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

How long can I keep a trunk?

Trunks are loaned for three weeks, inclusive of shipping. Upon request, they may be renewed for an additional two weeks if the renewal does not conflict with other scheduled requests.

What does it cost?

Trunks are available free of charge.

How do I pick up and return my Traveling Trunk?

Two-way shipping may be available through the state’s inter-library loan courier system (Minitex). This means that your trunk can be picked up at a cooperating library nearby and returned to the museum in the same way. Call or email us to see if this option is available to you. Borrowers may come in person to the museum to pick up and return a trunk during regular museum visiting hours.

What are my responsibilities?

As borrower, you must agree to return the trunk by the due date. You are also responsible for its care and security while in your possession. You are not liable for wear and tear of trunk contents as a result of normal use, but you may be held accountable for any damage or loss that occurs due to abuse or neglect. Please read these Procedures for more information.

Who do I contact if I have a question?

If you have any questions about the program, we would be glad to answer them. You can contact our archivist, Ryan Welle, at rwelle@mnmilitarymuseum.org or by phone at 320-632-7051. You can also contact our administrator, Sandra Erickson, at serickson@mnmilitarymuseum.org or by phone at 320-616-6051.

What have other users said about this program?

"This was a wonderful addition to our Civil War Studies. Thank you so much!"
"Very educational. Thank you for the opportunity to provide our students with this unique look into WWI!"
"Students really enjoy touching and holding these items. We discussed how a soldier maneuvered with all the supplies as well as the production of them. We used the trunk right before discussing the fall of Poland so it was a good way to start our unit on the beginning conflicts of WWII."
"The students loved seeing the uniforms!"
"Your trunk absolutely played an important part in our desire to honor these veterans of WWI."
"This was a great mix of equipment and uniforms which gave students a wonderful opportunity to see the things soldiers used."
"Was used to display items and explain the importance of the democratic process to students."
"The items were enjoyed by parents, students, staff, and faculty. Thank you for providing a new means for our students to appreciate the sacrifice of past Americans."
"The program was very successful. Over 1,000 members of our community enjoyed the display. Thank you!"
"I have widely recommended the program. Excellent resource!"

What’s in the Trunk?