Our 3-dimensional Collection
The Boulder History Museum's artifact collection is comprised of over 35,000 objects of historical significance donated by Boulder area families and companies over the past sixty-plus years.
The following list is a general catagory breakdown of our collection. Also, be sure to check out Highlights from Our Collection as we add new artifacts throughout the year.
In addition, the Museum continues to actively seek new donations for our collection from local companies and individuals of Boulder County origin. The Museum is especially in need of items since the 1950s. If you are interested in a giving a tax-deductible donation to our collection, please contact the Museum today at 303/449.3464.
The Phyllis Plehaty Costume Collection is by far the largest number of objects in our collection. This includes all clothing, shoes, hats, socks, underwear, etc.
2,300 Personal Artifacts
These are the things that we humans like to keep almost as close as our clothing. Eye glasses, toiletries and jewelry.
1,700 Tools & Equipment for Communication
We have over 270 artifacts that are related to photography, 108 of those are cameras from local studios or collectors. In addition to the visual communication objects we have 44 typewriters. Musical instruments are also included in this category. We have over 150 music related artifacts. Computers, printing equipment and radios are all included in this number.
7,500 Communication Artifact
Not to be confused with the aforementioned category, this one includes art and advertisements as well as documentary artifacts (books, wedding announcements, certificates) and personal symbols (think Masonic pins and political buttons). The largest two artifacts in the collection belong here: both the Crossroads Mall sign and the Ed Lawton blacksmith sign are a whopping 17 feet long.
6,500 Tools and Equipment for Materials
This vague title refers to tools for all kinds of projects; woodworking, metalsmithing, textiles, masonry, lapidary, mining etc. It also includes household utensils for food service.
1,800 Building Furnishings
Dressers, bed frames, chairs, etc.
1,800 Tools and Equipment for Science & Technology
This broad category covers everything from clocks and armament to survey equipment, medicine bottles and stethoscopes. If the object was made to observe the natural world or to apply knowledge from that observation, it is included here. Medical equipment, microscopes and chemistry sets are included in this category.
The fun! Toys, games and sports equipment. Approximately 2100 of these objects are
900 Distribution & Transportation Artifacts
While the majority of this category is likely to be a container of some sort or another (hat boxes, jugs, jars, crates or buckets) a few of our most interesting artifacts are included in this. We have a horse drawn sleigh and a carriage. These are two of the larger objects in the collection. Artifacts associated with these things might also be horse tack & saddles – of which we have 18.
In addition, our 2-dimensional collection of over 200,000 photographs and 700,000 historic documents is housed at the Carnegie Library for Local History where it is available to the public and researchers.