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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 archival 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


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San Bernardino County Museum - (909) 307-2669 - 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands, California 92374

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