Frequently Asked Questions
Questions about the Museum closure and the transition to the new museum? Look for answers here.
questions about the closure
Why is the Museum closed?
The Museum is relocating to a new facility on the corner of Mason and Cherry Streets. In November 2011, we began moving all of the Local History Archive, artifact collections, administrative offices, supplies, exhibit prep tools, and some exhibits to the new location. We are also completely clearing everything out of the old Museum building so that it can be used after we move out. Because we will have boxes, bags, desks, computers and such stored throughout the building as we prepare to move, we closed the facility to the public.
How long will the Museum remain closed?
The Museum’s current building closed on October 30, 2011. We plan to open the new Museum to the public on November 10, 2012. While the construction of the building was complete in November 2011, we have a significant amount of preparation, moving, and exhibit fabrication to do. You can keep up to date on the progress and opening news here on our website, or visit us on Facebook.
Will the Heritage Courtyard stay open while the Museum is closed?
No, the Heritage Courtyard will be closed to the public beginning October 30, 2011.
What will happen to the cabins in the Courtyard?
The cabins will remain at their current location of 200 Mathews Street.
What will happen to the current building?
The proposed use of the Carnegie Library building is as a community cultural center, housing an arts incubator, providing gallery, performance, classroom and meeting spaces available for rent to the community.
Will the Museum Store move to the new facility?
Yes! The Museum Store will have a big, bright space at the new museum inside the “free zone.”
Is there a way to reach Museum staff during the closure?
For most of the closure, Museum staff members can be reached by email, by calling their direct lines, or by calling the Museum’s main line at (970) 221-6738. If you need to leave a message, please understand that there may be a delay in our response. We will return your call or email as soon as possible.
Will my current Museum membership still be active when you close?
We will no longer be selling or renewing memberships, and all current memberships will expire on October 30, 2011. We realize that some memberships are not set to expire until AFTER October 30. If this is the case with your membership, we would like to offer a few options:
- You may opt to waive a refund and consider it a donation to the new Museum. In this case, you need not contact us, and we sincerely thank you for your gift.
- You may receive a partial refund for the portion of your annual membership that remains. Please call the Museum at (970) 221-6738 if you would like to receive this refund. We would appreciate hearing from you no later than November 30, 2011.
What will staff do while the Museum is closed?
Although the Museum will not be open to the public, staff will remain very busy during the move to the new facility. In addition to cleaning out offices, supply cabinets, and storage areas and packing the things to be moved, staff will also be developing new educational programs for children and adults, developing marketing pieces for the new museum, finalizing membership opportunities, creating in-house experiences to enhance exhibits, creating an inventory list for the Museum Store, and more. Another major component of the move is preparing the artifact and archive materials for the move to the new facility. Over 15,000 objects, 1,500 linear feet of archives, and nearly 4,000 rare and out-of-print books will be inventoried, packed and prepared to move. Once in the new facility, these items will then be unpacked, re-housed in the collections and archive areas, and re-inventoried. Staff will be spending their time ensuring the move goes smoothly, and preparing engaging and exciting programs and opportunities for the public in the new facility.
questions about the new museum
When does the new Museum open?
The new Fort Collins Museum of Discovery will open on November 10, 2012. Facebook is a good way to keep up to date on our progress as we prepare and move artifacts and fabricate new exhibits ahead of the opening date.
Where can I find more information on the new Museum?
The Museum will continue to provide updates and information to the community through several resources, including our website, our Facebook page, email alerts and mailings. If you would like to receive email alerts and/or mailings please call (970) 221-6738 and we’ll add you to the list.
Will Slinky and the other animals move to the new Museum?
Yes! Our animal friends will be joining us in the new facility.
What will the exhibits look like at the new Museum?
The Museum staff has worked closely with focus groups, community groups, and others to design and develop new exhibits based on community interest and input. The result is a blend of science, history and culture throughout the Museum. Exhibit themes include wildlands and wildlife; first peoples; food, forage and farm; people on the move; water; early childhood; energy and sustainability; science experience; music and sound; and natural areas.
Are memberships available to the new Museum?
Memberships will be available again once we open the new facility. Membership levels and experiences are being re-designed to coordinate with new program and exhibit offerings, but we will still offer reciprocity with other science centers and museums with memberships. Please check the website next spring for more information about memberships.
Are you hiring any positions for the new Museum?
We are not hiring any new positions at this time.
Can I schedule an event for the new Museum?
Unfortunately, we cannot schedule any events prior to opening the facility. We will provide information about renting space at the new Museum as we get closer to our opening date.
Can I volunteer at the new Museum when it opens?
Yes! The Museum will have many opportunities for volunteers, including education programming, special events and more. For more information about volunteering, please email Volunteer Coordinator Amanda Miller.
Will the Digital Dome Theater be open when the new Museum opens?
We are striving to have the Digital Dome completed when we open, but the Dome is not yet fully funded. We are actively seeking donations to the Digital Dome Campaign. For more information about the Digital Dome, and how to make a donation, call us at (970) 221-6738.
Can I add my name to a mailing list to get information about the new Museum when it opens?
Absolutely, and we highly recommend getting on a mailing list to keep up-to-date with the new Museum progress. To join the mailing list, simply email your contact information to Michael Allison. Let us know if you prefer email or postal mail.
Will there be an admission charge in the new Museum? Are there any free areas?
Yes, there will also be an admission charge in the new Museum, but prices are still under consideration. The Museum will also have “free zones,” including the Local History Archive, Natural Areas Welcome Center, the Museum Store, the Museum café, and the observation deck. The Museum will also continue to offer Free Days once a month, program scholarships, and complimentary memberships to families participating in Head Start.
Why do we need a new Museum?
In 2008, the Fort Collins Museum and Discovery Science Center merged to create a new, combined science and history museum. The Northern Colorado community is growing quickly, and both institutions felt they could provide a greater service to visitors by combining resources and building a new, state-of-the-art facility. The new Museum will provide visitors access to local history, culture, natural history, and science all in one location.
How was the new building paid for?
In 2005, Fort Collins voters passed the “Building on Basics” tax initiative, providing $6 million dollars for the new museum. In addition, the Museum has raised over $6.7 million in other public funding, $1.2 million in corporate support, over $7 million in support from foundations, and $2.3 million in individual support. You can find information about how you can support the new museum here.
Can I make a monetary donation to the new Museum?
Of course! For information on monetary donations, please see Get Involved, or call the main line at (970) 221-6738. All donations are tax-exempt, and you may be eligible for additional Enterprise Tax Zone deductions.
questions about education programs
Will educational programs continue while the Museum is closed?
No, there will be no educational programs offered until the new facility is opened in 2012.
Will there be Summer Programs next year?
The Museum staff is currently planning next year’s programs, and while we will not end the Summer Program series, we will not be offering them during the summer of 2012.
I am a teacher. Can I check out an Education Trunk while you are closed?
No, we will not be able to accommodate trunk requests during the closure. As an alternate resource, we suggest that teachers visit the Fort Collins History Connection website.
What educational programs will you provide at the new Museum?
The Education Department is currently planning the programs that will be offered at the new Museum. While we will continue to offer some popular programs, such as the Summer Program series, new programs will be developed to coordinate with new exhibitions and experiences. While most of our current programs are designed for young people, educational programming in the new facility will also include programs for families, teens, adults, and seniors.
questions about the local history archive and artifact collection
Will the Local History Archive move to the new Museum?
Yes. The Museum houses and cares for over 1,500 linear feet of archive materials and books on site to use for research, exhibits and education. All of these items will be relocated to the Local History Archive in the new Museum. The Local History Archive will be just inside the lobby, in the “free zone” of the Museum. There will be no admission charge to access the Local History Archive.
Will the Local History Archive be closed to the public as well?
Yes, the Archive will be closed to the public through the course of the closure. Some materials are available online at the Fort Collins History Connection. All Archive materials will need to be inventoried, packed and stored for the move. Once they are packed and prepared for the move we cannot access them again until they have been relocated.
Can I order Local History Archive photo reproductions online?
Photo reproductions through the Fort Collins History Connection website are not available at this time. All requests for reproductions will be accepted after the opening of the archive in the new facility.
Can I access the Local History Archive during the closure?
Unfortunately, there will be no way to access the collections or the archives during the closure. All of the materials will need to be inventoried, packed and stored before they can be relocated. Once they are packed and prepared to move, we cannot access them again until they have been relocated.
Are the Local History Archive resources available online?
There are many Archive and collections resources available online through the Fort Collins History Connection.
Art there other ways to find information about local history while the Archive is closed?
Below is a list of institutions and resources where you can research Colorado history:
- Poudre River Public Library District, Main Library, 201 Peterson Street, Fort Collins, has several books on local history available for reference and check out. The Main Library also has historic Fort Collins newspapers on microfilm.
- Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Department, 10 West Fourteenth Avenue Parkway, Denver, Colorado also has extensive archival material on Colorado history and historic photographs.
- Colorado Historic Newspapers is an online resource with more than 500,000 digitized pages, representing 163 individual newspaper titles published in Colorado from 1859 to 1923.
- Colorado State University Archives and Special Collections Department, Morgan Library, Fort Collins.
- Colorado State Archives, 1313 Sherman, Room 1B20, Denver, CO 80203.
- Fort Collins City Clerk Office, 300 Laporte Ave., Fort Collins.
- Fort Collins Historic Preservation Department, 281 N. College, Fort Collins.
Will the artifact collection be moving to the new Museum?
Yes. The Museum houses and cares for over 15,000 artifacts on site to use for research, exhibits and education. All of these items will be relocated to the new Museum’s storage area.
I would like to donate an item to collections or the Local History Archive. Can I do this while you are closed?
If you have materials to donate, please contact Linda Moore, Curator of Collections, at (970) 416-2784, or call the Museum’s main line at (970) 221-6738. Staff will return your call as soon as possible, but please understand that there might be a short delay until we are able to contact you.
I have family coming to town who would like to see a collection/Archive donation we’ve made to the Museum. Can we schedule a visit to see the object?
Unfortunately, we are not able to schedule appointments to see artifact collections or Archive materials during the closure. All materials will be inventoried, packed and stored until the move. Once items are packed and stored, we will not have access to it until after the move.