What does the museum collect?
This is a important question. The sheer cost of cataloging, storing and caring for historical items makes it imperative that museums focus their collections, and acquire only those items that relate to their mission.

The mission of the museum is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of Mt. Hood. The collection will consist of documents, books, photographs, artifacts and other cultural objects related to Mt. Hood. Generally the collection will focus on the time period beginning with the pioneering of the Barlow Road branch of the Oregon Trail in 1845. Due to financial and expertise limitations the museum will not collect Native American related objects. The geographic scope of the collection will be present day Oregon state counties of Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah and Wasco. Note the emphasis on present day, as in the 1800's Clackamas and Wasco Counties encompassed all the Oregon lands east of Mt. Hood, to the Idaho and California borders.

The museum collection consists of five general collection categories:

  • Winter and Mountain Sports: includes equipment and clothing made and/or used in pursuit of outdoor recreations activities in the Mt. Hood area.
  • Barlow Road: includes artifacts, documents and other objects associated with the Barlow Road branch of the Oregon Trail.
  • Local History: includes objects related to the exploration, exploitation, settlement and establishment of communities, infrastructure and social fabric of the Mt. Hood area.
  • Mt. Hood National Forest: includes objects related U.S. Forest Service and the management of the National Forest.
  • Natural History: these objects are primarily botanical, biological or geological specimens related to the geographic area of interest.

The collection will be used for permanent and special exhibits, research, educational programs, public events and publications.

What does the terms objects, items and artifacts mean as used in the museum collection policy?
Artifacts generally refers to something that is older than 50 years. Objects and items are general terms used to refer to all other things in the collection. More specifically the museum collection consist of the following, that relate to the above categories:

  • Historical objects: these are tangible objects such as skis, snowshoes, boots, mountain climbing equipment, signs, tools, furniture, clothing and personal effects made or used in the Mt. Hood area.
  • Archive material: all forms of written communication except printed books are archive material. Examples include diaries, letters, business papers, magazines, pamphlets, brochures, tickets, research papers, legal documents and oral histories.
  • Books: the museum is building a collection of books, fiction and non-fiction related to Mt. Hood or one of our collection categories.
  • Photographs: the goal of this collection is to build a world class collection of Mt. Hood photography. The museum is prepared to properly preserve and exhibit large collections of photographic material, related to Mt. Hood, its people and places.

How can I make a donation to the museum - can I get an income tax deduction for the value of my donated objects?
Call the museum office, email or visit the museum and discuss the proposed donation. If the objects clearly fall within the scope of the museum collection the staff on duty will accept the objects and issue a receipt. If the proposed donation is not routine, the curator will be consulted. The receipt issued by the museum and the catalogue record can be used for income tax records. The museum can not legally provide an appraisal of the donated objects for IRS purposes. We can however, offer procedures for establishing the value of your donation.