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. Contact: Michele Nielsen, Curator of History, (909) 307-2669 ext. 240 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462.
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
Families Adobe, and the Rains
House. The small museums at the Asistencia
and at Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetery contain artifacts and interpretive materials.
Visit Agua Mansa Pioneer Cemetary on October 30, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.
Signs in the Designs, and hour-long tour of this historic
is true with most museums the majority of the three-dimensional
artifacts in the History Division collections are in storage.
We rotate artifacts through exhibits in the main museum and inside
our branch sites and their associated museums. Our artifacts are
also available, by appointment, for researchers to examine. For
questions about three-dimensional artifacts, contact Michele
The San Bernardino County Museum Archives
is also a part of the History Division and houses archival materials
as well as the History Research Library and the Western Textile
Center Library. For assistance on archival matters, contact Michele
All fibrous materials in the San Bernardino County Museum, such
as costumes, textiles, and tools for their manufacture, are part
of the Western Textile Center collections. These include artifacts
in the Anthropology Division
collections (such as baskets and Navajo rugs) and in the History
Division collections (such as coverlets, quilts, and spinning
wheels). Also included in the History Division area are special
textile collections such as the Mary Meigs Atwater collection,
Dunning collection, and Kipp collection. The Western
Textile Center Association (WTCA) is the museum affiliate
group that assists with the Western Textile Center collection.
Their long association with the museum has benefited the public
and collections through such means as workshops and lectures,
exhibits, special events, fundraising, volunteer hours on collection
care and cataloging, and assisting in acquiring collections. the
Western Textile Center Library contains a wonderful collection
of books, journals, and fabric swatches related to the fiber arts
from the 19th into the 21st centuries and is housed in the museum
archives. For History Division textiles,
including such special collections as the Mary Meigs Atwater collection,
contact Michele Nielsen.
For Anthropology Division collections,
contact Dr. Adella
Schroth, curator of anthropology (909-307-2669 ext. 266 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462).
For the Western Textiles Center Library contact Michele
Search Museum Collections
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.
For donations in the Archives area (such as photographs, documents,
maps, and books) please contact Michele
For donations of other history artifacts including textiles please
contact Michele Nielsen.
Permanent Collections Access and Use Policy and Procedures