Your South Coast Adventure Starts Here

Our Collection

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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 and exhibits.

It’s Here!

You can now see some of our historical images online. We will be adding images on a regular basis, so check back again soon!

Coos History Museum images online here!

Only a fraction of our collections are exhibited at any one time to guard against damage from environmental elements or accidental contact. Our collections are managed through a computerized database. 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 to the Collection

The Museum collects stories, artifacts, photographs, and archival materials that help interpret Coos regional history. In order to be considered for acceptance into the permanent collection, the item(s) must fit within our current collection plan, storage space requirements, and fit within the following criteria:

  • Contribute to the understanding of the history and material culture of Coos County and/or Oregon’s Southern Coast;
  • Help meet the needs of the Museum’s mission or be otherwise sufficiently useful for research or interpretive purposes;
  • Be in reasonably good physical condition;
  • Be sufficiently complete to convey historical information.;
  • Be offered free and clear, with no restrictions and with the present owner(s) having clear title to item(s).

The museum accepts intent to donate information to be reviewed quarterly within our donation evaluation schedule. Those interested in donating item(s) should fill out an Intent to Donate form online or at the museum and then return the form to the curator ( Items brought to the museum without prior written approval from staff will not be accepted or reviewed.

Note: CHM accepts objects, original photos, and original archival materials into the collection. Some items may be suitable for our education collection but are not appropriate for the permanent collection. Acceptance into the permanent collection does not guarantee that the materials will be exhibited. Collections materials are cared for in perpetuity and can also be used as research resources and as part of our online collections database.

Click here to download the Intent to Donate form: Intent to Donate

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