There are over 45,000 objects in care of the Museum of Boulder, as part of the permanent artifact collection. All artifacts not currently on exhibit are housed and cared for at the Museum’s 7,000 square foot off-site collection facility.
The first items were collected in the 1920s, by an early iteration of the Boulder Historical Society (founded in 1944) and the Museum has been continually acquiring Boulder-significant objects, ever since.
The collection contains an incredibly wide variety of things: furniture, farm equipment, olympic sports gear, cameras, trade signs, eyeglasses, paintings, shoes, medical tools, typewriters, dresses, musical instruments, parking meters, pianos, computers, underwear, carriages, radios, quilts, chemistry sets, uniforms, trade signs, skis, mining equipment, jewelry, posters, bed frames, weather balloons, a printing press, ceramic ware, tuxedos, x-ray machines, toys, telephones, hats, a horse-drawn sleigh, and a kitchen sink… to name only a few!
In addition to preserving historically significant artifacts, the Museum works to archive culturally contemporary things of today, like: protest posters, climate change instrumentation, cannabis industry equipment, civil rights material, and athletic gear.
The collection material is made available to the public through educational presentations, archival digitization, collection facility tours, object-based programming, and research opportunities. Artifacts from the collection are often called up for display, either as part one of the Museum’s own exhibits; or by guest appearance on-loan to another museum.
*In addition to the Artifact Collection, the Museum maintains an Archive Collection, housed at the Carnegie Library for Local History. See the Archive Collection page for more about the Museum’s collection of historic documents and photographs.
If you have an object, document, or photo significant to Boulder that you are interested in donating to the Museum, please see our donation info page