The History Division studies and interprets the history of San Bernardino County
and the southwestern United States from first non-native contact onwards. The
division maintains collections of thousands of
and three-dimensional artifacts at the main museum and historic branch museums.
It is responsible for the preservation and conservation of artifacts in these collections, as well as
related research and interpretation.
Major collections include 19th century household furnishings,
artifacts related to occupations such as lumbering, woodworking,
citrus, transportation, and mining, and special collections of
textiles and costumes, plus extensive archival photographic and
documentary holdings. Three-dimensional artifacts (such as household
furnishings and transportation) are found in the main museum on
exhibit and in storage and at the branch museum at the Yucaipa
Adobe, the Yorba and Slaughter
Adobe, and the Rains
House. The small museums at the Asistencia
and at Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery contain artifacts and interpretive materials.
As is true with most museums, most of the three-dimensional artifacts in the
History Division collections are in storage. We rotate artifacts through
exhibits in the main museum and branch. Our artifacts are also available,
by appointment, for researchers to examine.
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How to donate artifacts to the History Division collections
Nearly all of our artifacts have come to us through generous
donations from the public. We greatly appreciate your thinking
of the San Bernardino County Museum as a home for your special
items. In order to better serve you, we ask that you call ahead
to make an appointment so that we can personally talk to you and
see the artifact(s) you are interested in donating. Walk-ins may
find us out at an historic site or otherwise unable to help you
and we do not want to waste your valuable time. Due to our Ethics
Policy, we do not do appraisals of artifacts.
When ready to donate an item, please gather together all of the
information you can find about previous ownership of the artifact(s),
photographs showing it in use, and any other information you have
to share. We will want to discuss information such as who used
the item, where, how, when, for what, and why so that the artifact
can be better shared with others through research, exhibition,
and other types of interpretation.
Permanent Collections Access and Use Policy and Procedures