Collections

“To gather and preserve all manner of objects…” reads the articles of incorporation of the Eastern Washington State Historical Society. Collecting and preserving cultural material that portrays the diverse experience of life in the Inland Northwest, past and present, remains at the heart of the museum’s mission. As the historical society for Eastern Washington, the museum is a repository for a vast array of artifacts, art, photographs, and texts numbering over a million objects and growing.  

MAC collections are comprised of four major categories which include Art, Regional History, American Indian, and Archives. Collection managers and curators acquire objects guided by the museum’s established mission of stewardship and focus. Pieces from the collection are periodically exhibited or may supplement traveling exhibitions to provide a local perspective on the subject matter.
 

Research

For research in the Joel E. Ferris Research Archives, please contact the Archives at (509) 363-5342 or archives@northwestmuseum.org. You may also access archival photographs and materials through our Digital Archives.

For research of the Regional History and Fine art Collections, please contact Valerie Wahl, Museum Collections Curator, at (509) 363-5307 or val.wahl@northwestmuseum.org.

For research of the American Indian Collection please contact Tisa Matheson, American Indian Collections Specialist, at (509) 363-5313 or tisa.matheson@northwestmuseum.org.

For exhibitions research please contact Brooke Wagner, Registrar, at (509) 363-5318 brooke.wagner@northwestmuseum.org.


Donations

For donations of Art, Regional History, or American Indian collections please contact Valerie Wahl, Museum Collections Curator, at (509) 363-5307 or val.wahl@northwestmuseum.org.

For donations of Archives collections please contact the Archives at (509) 363-5342 or archives@northwestmuseum.org.


Collections Highlight Corner

METEO-RIGHT OR METEO-WRONG?

Here’s all we know about specimen #1288.1: the record states that it is a “piece of meteor from Nevada” donated on September 17, 1945.   But how did the donor identify it as a meteorite?  Can we confirm this?
Below are some questions provided by Portland State University’s Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory that help us identify our specimen:

  • Most meteorites contain significant Fe-Ni (iron, nickel); they are solid and compact. Clue: This specimen attracts a magnet – and is heavy.
  • Meteorites are seldom round after having entered the earth’s atmosphere from space. Entering the earth’s atmosphere causes intense friction, melting and then cooling the meteorite surface. This creates a “fusion” coating – essentially a thin glass shell, which may be black or brown, dull or shiny.  The coating usually contrasts in color and texture to exposed interior material. 
  • Meteorites are rare, but Melinda Hutson, curator at the lab “strongly suspects that our specimen is a little iron meteorite” based on this series of questions.  To know for sure, the specimen would have to undergo scientific analysis.

Until then, Cascadia Meteorite Lab
concurs with the donor’s original
claim that this is a meteo-right!     

Do you have a rock that you suspect
could be a meteorite?  Visit Portland
State University’s Cascadia Meteorite
Lab’s website.