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Collections

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Collections

Duwamish hat, ca 1880The Renton History Museum holds collections donated from 1966 to the present. The Museum's primary collection consists of objects, photographs, and archival materials relating to greater Renton's industrial, civic, and cultural past. The objects in the collection range in age from prehistoric times to the present day, and include archaeological, ethnological, and historical objects. The Museum also housed two secondary collections: a reference library and an education collection.

A selection of the Renton History Museum's photographs are available for viewing on the University of Washington Libraries Digital Collections web site. The web site features about 500 images from our collection of over 17,000 images. If you would like to purchase a copy of any of the Museum's photographs, please contact the Museum via email or at 425.255.2330.

Donations

Do you have an artifact you wish to donate to the Museum? The Museum is currently collecting artifacts that have a strong connection to Renton's rich history and help tell Renton's story. Does this sound like your artifact? If so, please read the Frequently Asked Questions about artifact donation, then fill out and Artifact Donation form and return it to the Museum.

Wish List

The Museum is always on the lookout for items to fill gaps in our collection and is especially interested in the following:Steiff dog, ca 1912, belonged to Charles L. CusterCharles L. Custer & Steiff dog, 1913

  • Anything related to early business and industry in Renton
  • Anything related to "The Loop"
  • Diaries, letters, and other first person accounts of Renton's history
  • Photographs, especially from World War II to the present day

Items no longer accepted

The Renton Historical Society has been collecting since 1966 and has already acquired tens of thousands of objects, ephemera, and photographs. Our storage space is limited and we are no longer able to accept some items. These include:

  • Historical objects with no connection or significance to Renton history
  • Dolls
  • Cabinet radios
  • Kerosene lamps
  • Knickknacks
  • Phonographs and phonograph records
  • Pianos and organs
  • Pressure cookers
  • Tools (carpentry and masonry)
  • Typewriters
  • World War II uniforms

Need help preserving or conserving a family heirloom?

Museum staff can help answer your questions and by appointment we will provide a free half-hour consultation on preservation and how to correctly store your heirlooms so that they will last for future generations. For more information on conserving or repairing damage to your heirlooms, please contact the American Institute for Conservation of Historical and Artistic Works. The AIC provides a list of conservators with various specialties in your area.