How do I use the archives at the Porter County Museum?
The public is typically not allowed to handle the archives housed at the PoCo Muse. Most of the information we have in our holdings has been duplicated and shared with the Genealogy Department of the Valparaiso Public Library. Our picture archive is in the process of being scanned so it can be digitally viewed through our web interface and social media pages.
Staff of the Genealogy Department can be reached by telephone at (219) 462.0524 Extension 5. You may also visit the department at 103 Jefferson Street during their normal hours of operations. Other appropriate information, such as an e-mail contact, can be found on their website here.
Other important research about Porter County can be conducted at the other public library branches, the Westchester Township History Museum (Chesterton), Alton Goin History Museum (Portage), and several other locations within Porter County. For additional information on historical resources within Porter County, feel free to contact the Museum by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (219) 465.3595.
Can the Porter County Museum provide appraisals of objects?
The Porter County Museum cannot appraise, evaluate or provide guidance regarding the sale of artifacts, specimens, photographs, printed works or original documents.
Please refer to the websites of the following organizations. While they do not provide appraisals, they do maintain directories of members and their appraisal specialties:
Appraisers Association of America
American Society of Appraisers
International Society of Appraisers
Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association of America
I own (or am considering the purchase of) a home in Porter County that may have historical significance. Can the Porter County Museum help me research it?
The Porter County Museum does not maintain a significant collection of materials regarding the residences of the area. Consulting with the Genealogy Department of the Valparaiso Public Library (or genealogy department specific to the area in which you live) may be your best first move in re-discovering the history of your (soon-to-be) home.
How do I request a loan of artifacts or other materials?
The Porter County Museum limits who may borrow the materials owned by the Porter County Museum Foundation. Typically, the Museum only loans items to other non-profit institutions. You may submit a request to borrow artifacts and materials to the Collections Committee of the Porter County Museum Foundation. The form can be located under the Forms & Documents section of this website.
Is the PoCo Muse wheelchair accessible?
No. Unfortunately, our current facility is not ADA compliant. This is part of the reason the Porter County Museum is expanding. The new space at 20 Indiana Avenue, known as the Montague/Urschel Gallery (located across the street west of the PoCo Muse), is wheelchair accessible from the primary entrance facing the gravel lot on Franklin Street.
Where are you?
The Porter County Museum is located in downtown Valparaiso next to the Memorial Opera House. The PoCo Muse sits at the southeast corner of the courthouse square, at 153 Franklin Street, and overlooks beautiful downtown Valparaiso.
- Quick walk from the incredible dining venues of downtown Valparaiso;
- Only a 15-20 minute car ride from Chesterton, Portage, and all other notable Porter County dining establishments.
- Near Valparaiso hotels like the Hampton Inn, Courtyard Marriott, Fairfield Inn & Suites, and many more.
- Walking distance to Valparaiso’s newest downtown park and other city amenities
- Accessible to public transportation like the V-Line
Do you allow children’s strollers?
Yes, but we typically ask visitors to leave strollers at the door. Our 1871 facility has many un-level surfaces which makes stroller navigation difficult.
Can I take photographs?
Unless otherwise posted, you are welcome to take pictures of PoCo Muse exhibits for personal use with hand-held cameras using no flash. To use a tripod or standing lights, please obtain permission from staff. No photography for commercial purposes is permitted without the express written permission of the Porter County Museum.
When are your free days?
Every day is currently free at the Porter County Museum, although we do accept donations.