The main body of artifacts at Ravalli County Museum has been donated over 60+ years. Many pioneer families have contributed to the collection. Early historical society member Henry Grant, affectionately known locally as “Mr. Bitterroot,” collected and donated numerous early Bitterroot objects. Artifacts from local Native American tribes – the Salish, Kootenai and Nez Perce – comprise a permanent exhibit.
The Museum’s collection also includes the work of regional photographer Ernst Peterson; objects from an early fraternal organization; a wood hand tool collection; agricultural implements; military uniforms and accessories; portraits and paintings; numerous Victorian era household fixtures; dry goods; and vintage clothing.
For the safety of our staff members, yourself, and the public, Ravalli County Museum will wait until a later date to resume accepting donated items for our Collection. Meanwhile, for anyone who has items for possible donation that you would like the Collections Committee to consider, we can get the process rolling remotely. The best way is to email us a short description about what you would like to donate and how it relates to the valley’s history, along with photos of the item(s). Send to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or mail to Ravalli County Museum, Attn: Collections Manager, 205 Bedford St., Hamilton, MT 59840. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this unprecedented time. For questions, please email Collections, or leave us a message at (406) 363-3338, Ext. 18.
Ravalli County Museum houses a variety of archival material suited to the needs of researchers. Resources include a vast newspaper collection dating to the late 1800s, a Vertical File of local interest topics and obituaries, and a card catalog, accessible via a searchable database. Other archive materials include original documents, certificates, contracts, correspondence, deeds, magazines, maps, historic photos and photo albums, pamphlets, scrapbooks, genealogical sources, a Hamilton Architectural Survey, and a non-lending library of books and publications of regional interest.