Collections & Archives

Collections & Archives

The Grout Museum District is an educational center with reference to regional history, Iowa history pertaining to statewide military involvement including home front participation and the sciences. The Museum selectively collects artifacts, books and archival material to further that purpose.

Check out the Collections Showcase Videos

Grout Museum District Founder: Henry Whittemore Grout

The Grout Museum District’s Permanent Collection began with the personal collection of Henry Grout a local entrepreneur and collector. The original 2000 piece collection has grown to a Permanent Collection comprised of approximately 200,000 objects and 100,000 items in the Archives and Library Collections.

The Grout Museum District's Collection

The Grout Museum District’s Permanent Collection selectively collects objects needed to support the organization’s mission. The Collection includes sub-collections of textiles; household furnishings; business and communication equipment; toys, dolls and sports equipment; medical and transportation objects; science based collections of geology and natural artifacts; anthropological and ethnological material.

Make a Donation

To donate items to the Grout Museum District contact Nicholas Erickson, Registrar or Catreva Manning, Archivist. [See PDF for information on the donation process or download a donation form.]

All Permanent Collection offers are reviewed by the District’s Collection Donation Committee. While the Committee gives serious consideration to all donation offers not everything can be or is accepted. The following questions are used as a guideline in the decision making process.

  • Is it relevant to the District’s mission?
  • Is it unique – that is, does it already exist in the Collection? Do we need another sample?
  • Can the District house it properly? Are there size, materials or special considerations?
  • Does it pose a hazard to the collection, staff or visitors in any way?
  • How can it be used by the District?
  • Does it require expenditures for conservation?

Collection Donation Committee approved donations are sent to the District’s Board of Directors for final acceptance into Permanent Collection. A Gift Receipt [see Gift Receipt Policy PDF] and letter of thanks is then sent to the donor to complete the legal transfer of ownership to the District.

Things the Museum is looking for in objects:

  • Typeset – small samples of several styles
  • Melmac® dinnerware, 4 place setting
  • Fiestaware dishes, 4 place setting
  • Military Footwear/Combat Boots (Mexican-American War—Present)
  • United States Military Combat Uniforms/Fatigues (Persian Gulf War—Present)
  • Military Equipment, Gear, Armament, Artifacts, and Souvenirs (Persian Gulf War—Present) 
  • Military Entrenching Tools and Covers—M1910 and Older

Grout Museum District's Archives & Library

The Grout Museum District is an educational center with reference to regional history and science. The Museum library and archives selectively collects, catalogs and disseminates information needed to support the work of the administrators and staff in their effort to fulfill that purpose. Further, the library will provide a service to the community within the Museum’s field of interest.

Things the Museum is looking for in archives:

City Directories:

  • Waterloo: 1998, 2000, 2003-2004, 2006 – present
  • Cedar Falls: 2000 – present
  • Family Histories (Genealogy)

Historical Photographs:

  • 1950s - 1960s downtown Waterloo
  • East Side Waterloo: Residential & Commercial Areas
  • West Side Waterloo: Commercial Areas
  • Waterloo Businesses
  • Waterloo Schools
  • Churches
  • Street Scenes
  • Stores
  • Waterloo Business Histories


  • Black Hawk County: 2000 – present
  • Waterloo: 2006 – present
  • Waterloo Sanborn: 2000 – present
  • Waterloo Plat: 1999 - present

FAQs about Preserving Family Records