Why history?

As a historian and museum professional, I am often asked: Why history? Why is it important? Why museums? Why donate?

The answer is simple: YOU!

Why history? History provides a better understanding of the present; it shows how our culture and society have developed. It reflects our identity as a community. History is your community’s stories, without your support your stories risk being lost.

Why is it important? As our communities seem to become more and more divided, history helps remind us of our shared past and that our actions not only affect our lives, but will shape the futures of our children and grandchildren.

Why museums? They house the community’s history. They are educational centers for all generations to learn and connect people of all backgrounds. The DuPage County Historical Museum is your museum, in your county, preserving YOUR history.

Why donate to the DuPage County Historical Museum?

With your donation you become a steward of your own history. You help to preserve your community’s historical and cultural identity. You are educating the 10,000+ people who come through the museum doors or participate in events every year. You are engaging the community with the stories of their past and providing a safe and inclusive place to discuss these topics.

Will you preserve your history by making a donation to the DuPage County Historical Museum?

Thank you for your support.

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Did you know?

  • The DuPage County Historical Museum was originally built as Wheaton’s first public library and was one of the first in the state to use the Dewey Decimal System.
  • The Museum houses more than 40,000 historical artifacts.
  • The annual cost to preserve the Museum’s artifact collection comes to more than $120,000 annually.

Strange But True

The Museum has in its collection:

Victorian-era wreath made from hair
Lora Ann Wheaton Paige received this hair wreath from her pupils at the Jennings Seminary in Aurora in the late 1800s. The students made the piece out of their own hair, a common Victorian era practice for remembering special people.

Sharp-tailed GrouseThis taxidermic bird is a female sharp-tailed grouse, a relative of the prairie chicken. The bird was stuffed in the Victorian era and purchased by the Museum in 1991 for a sitting room exhibit.

USS Maine Battleship FragmentThis is a metal fragment from the USS Maine, the battleship that sunk in Havana Harbor in Cuba in 1898 and helped spark the Spanish-American War. It appears to have been recovered from the water as it is covered with dried Marine fungi.

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Support Events, Programs, and Exhibits through a Partnership or Donation

Dice in a decorative cup
Kids watching model trains
pair of shoes and photo from DCHM collections

Learn More…

For more information about partnering with the museum, please contact:

Kaitlin Lizik
Annual Giving & Events Manager
[email protected]

We will not sell, share or trade our donors’ names or personal information with any other entity, nor send mailings to our donors on behalf of other organizations. Donor information is used exclusively by the DuPage County Historical Museum (DCHM) and its Wheaton Park District affiliates.

This policy applies to all information received by DCHM, both online and offline, on any Platform (‘Platform’, includes the DCHM website and mobile applications), as well as any electronic, written, or oral communications.

To the extent any donations are processed through a third-party service provider, our donors’ information will only be used for purposes necessary to process the donation.