Every year the Boulder History Museum welcomes guests
to explore the unique history of the Boulder region. Through
tours, educational programming, family fun days, and other
special events, the Museum interprets and explores the
culture of Boulder engendering a greater appreciation
for the area. The Boulder History Museum is only able
to do this because of help from community members like
Your artifact and/or archival donation to the Boulder History Museum benefits
your community in a variety of ways. By contributing to
the Museum, you are helping to preserve the history and
culture of the Boulder region and provide a venue for
the community to experience, learn and interact with history.
Please join us in preserving Boulder’s history by making
a tax-deductible donation today! The Museum is especially in need of items since the 1950s to the present.
If you are interested in a giving a tax-deductible donation to our collection, please contact the Museum at the 303/449.3464 or email.
Also, be sure to check out Highlights from Our Collection as we add new artifacts throughout the year.
What the Boulder History Museum Collects
One of the Museum's primary goals is to collect the artifacts that document Boulder history. They include objects which were actually made or used in Boulder and have a clear and specific association with some significant aspect of Boulder history. These types of objects will be classified in the Museum's collection as Boulder Provenance Artifacts, and will be given the highest priority for addition to or retention in the Permanent Collections.
Boulder Provenance Artifacts
Artifacts have a direct association with Boulder history and regional history as it relates to the West such as the following.
- Artifacts that represent settlement by native peoples or western expansion and settlement prior to 1959.
- Municipal development of Boulder, including early government and the incorporation of the town. This includes elements such as: mayor or city manager and city council; city departments and services, such as the police department, fire department, library, parks and other public facilities; public works and utilities, such as water and sewer systems, and transportation systems.
- Public and private facilities and services associated with urban life such as local private utilities that have provided water, electricity, gas, and telecommunication services; newspapers, postal service, hospitals, cemeteries, and railroads; and the late-20th century growth of Boulder including the development of neighborhoods and subdivisions, and downtown redevelopment.
- Economic activities in Boulder including mining; agriculture and agriculture-related businesses; scientific, technical and entrepreneurial commerce; retail and commercial businesses; professional services, trades, manufacturing, health and health care; sports and recreation; and land development, tourism, and business associations.
- Social and cultural development of Boulder including; faith communities and their buildings; civic, fraternal, and arts organizations; and unique community events and organizations.
- Education in Boulder including the development of elementary and secondary schools, institutions of higher education and other specialized schools.
- Individuals and families who have made a significant personal contribution to the development of Boulder.
- Geographical features of the Boulder area.
- Objects of natural history or archaeological material acquired through the lawful excavation of sites in the Boulder area.
- Written, transcribed, photographed or otherwise documented aspects of Boulder history.
Objects which do not have a direct association with Boulder history may still be potentially useful in fulfilling the Mission of the Museum. Objects of this class may include typical pieces of American material culture such as furniture, clothing, tools and equipment, product packages, etc., which have been mass-produced and nationally distributed. Such objects may be considered to be representative of similar objects that would have actually been used in Boulder. Such objects are particularly useful for the development of interpretive exhibits, especially when a suitable collection of Boulder Provenance Artifacts is not available. These types of objects will be classified as non-provenancial.
Artifacts without provenance may be added to the Permanent Collections if they meet one or more of the following criteria.
- An object is representative of a class of widely distributed common objects of a particular time period which is not sufficiently represented in the Permanent Collections. For example, clothing of the 1850’s, or product packages of the twentieth century, are types of objects that may be needed to enhance interpretation of specific aspects of Boulder history.
- An object is representative of a specific activity that was commonly practiced in Boulder which is not sufficiently represented in the Permanent Collections. For example, tools associated with farming and mining or technological or scientific equipment may be appropriate for addition to the Permanent Collections, even if they were used in another part of the country.
- An object is representative of an aspect of American history in which the people of Boulder have played a role.
- An object is identified as being of a specific type that is needed for educational or interpretive purposes.
If you have further questions specifically about an item you are considering as a donation please contact the Museum or email.
Unfortunately, the Museum is unable to appraise value on donated collections for tax-deductions forms. Please consult your local antique dealers or auction house.