Our collections – which now include more than 50,000 objects and more than 250,000 images – illuminate the cultural history of the Coos region and south coastal Oregon. The museum’s collections include artifacts, images, and archival material relevant to Coos regional history, dating from pre-history through the 1970s. We especially value artifacts, photos, and documents related to the maritime history of our region.
The collections provide core materials for many of our services, including research, presentations, educational programs
Only a fraction of our collections are exhibited at any one time to guard against damage from prolonged exposure to light or accidental contact.
Our collections are managed through a computerized database (PastPerfect). Museum staff can locate detailed information, descriptions, and thumbnail images of objects, images, archives, and research library information without inflicting wear and tear on objects. Subparts of the database are in various stages of development thanks to our dedicated volunteers.
Donating Objects and Images
Items that illuminate any aspect of Coos regional history may be eligible for donation to the museum. “Common place” objects and images are as important as those that may reflect a unique event, individual, or perspective.
If you are considering donating an item, our Collections Manager will be happy to arrange a time to meet either at the museum or wherever any large or heavy item may be stored.
You will be given a receipt acknowledging our possession of your item while it is being evaluated by the Accessions Committee, and any donation will be formalized with a Gift Agreement. We are not permitted to pay for any appraisal or to estimate the value of your item. For further information please call our Collections Manager at 541-756-6320.
If you would like to keep your historically important photographs for your descendants, consider having the images scanned at the museum so that researchers can study those electronic copies. We also use photos in many of our exhibits. We return the original unaltered photo(s) to you along with a CD of the image(s). You will be asked sign a release of the copies for use by the museum. Please contact the Collections Manager for further information.