Detail image of embroidered Hmong story cloth

OPM Collections

Top hat worn by Menominee Chief Oshkosh


The purpose of OPM’s collection is to advance the Museum’s mission “to preserve and promote history, art, and culture for Oshkosh residents and visitors by stewarding collections, creating educational experiences, and providing access to the unique heritage of the Lake Winnebago Region.” 

OPM oversees and manages an expansive collection of materials and their associated documentation. These collections advance our mission and serve the public. Objects we care for are stewarded for research, interpretation, and exhibition. 

Collection Highlight: Top hat worn by Menominee Chief Oshkosh, OPM #5116

Preserve + Promote

OPM collects and preserves historic art and artifacts, anthropological specimens and archival materials for research, interpretation, use in exhibitions, and for future generations.

The Permanent Collection represents prehistory to the modern day. Key collections include: items once belonging to Menominee Chief Oshkosh, artifacts and archival material from photographer Lewis Hine, Tiffany stained-glass windows, an expansive fashion and textile collection, and relics of business and industry that built the city’s economy and population.

The collection is vital to our ability to interpret the past and understand our place in its future.

Collection Highlight: Assortment of hatpins, OPM Permanent Collections

Hatpins from OPM's permanent collection
Purple shoes worn by Jessie Jack Hooper


OPM currently cares for cultural items and Ancestral Remains that are governed by federal law under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). In most cases, NAGPRA-related items in OPM Collections were found during archaeological excavations that occurred prior to 1966. These holdings continue to be made available for repatriation to Tribal Nations.
In compliance with the law, we publish inventories in the Department of the Interior's database of human remains and associated funerary objects that have not completed the formal repatriation process.

OPM regularly receives NAGPRA inquiries from throughout the United States. We honor and value the relationships with Tribal Nations and welcome NAGPRA inquiries. Any queries we receive will be processed as quickly as possible. For research requests, please be aware that OPM consults with the appropriate Tribal Nations prior to allowing access to sensitive materials.

OPM is committed to our valued relationships with Tribal Nations. Our policies adhere to federal laws and prohibit the active collection of human remains, funerary objects, and known sacred objects. 

Collection Highlight: Menominee Bandolier Bag, OPM #1229

Intricately beaded Menominee bandolier bag