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Rogers Historical Museum  


About the Collections

The museumís collections reflect and support the museumís mission to educate the public about the history and traditions of Rogers and the surrounding area of Northwest Arkansas. The collections have been developed over the years to meet the expanding needs of both the public and the staff. A collections management policy contains guidelines for each collection.

Permanent Collection

The Permanent Collection contains about 32,000 objects which are used for in-house exhibits, research, and loans. Objects from this collection include: the death mask of William Hope "Coin" Harvey, promoter of the free silver standard, Presidential candidate, and developer of a local resort town; the effects of Rogersí native Betty Blake, wife of Will Rogers, including her printerís stick, mandolin, and suitcase; a crown from the 1920s Apple Blossom Festival, a tremendous promotional celebration for the area in the era of large apple harvests; and a desk, photos, magazines, and other memorabilia of local author Tom Morgan, humorist and friend and contemporary of Will Rogers.

Every year hundreds of wonderful items are generously donated to the Permanent Collection of the Rogers Historical Museum. Whether "noteworthy" or everyday, these objects help us understand the rich history of Benton County and give us insight into her people and their way of life, both yesterday and today. Each month we'll feature a donation and provide a bit of historical context for it. Click here to see this month's donation. Enjoy!

The Permanent Collectionsí major categories include:

  • furniture and household items, the majority of which create the scene of early Rogers middle-class home life in the Museumís historic 1895 Hawkins House;

  • business items, armaments, toys, and examples of various folk arts made in this area; and

  • paintings, drawings, and posters, many depicting Rogers subjects and scenes, including a large collection produced by local artist Elsie Mistie Sterling.

Teaching Collection

The Teaching Collection consists of objects which are either reproductions, duplicates of objects in the Permanent Collection, or objects without historical documentation or local significance. Objects in this collection are used by visitors in the hands-on exhibit "The Attic," are displayed in the period stores of the "First Street" exhibit, or are used for in-house and outreach educational purposes, including Discovery Boxes, programs, and tours.

Image Collection

The Image Collection consists of modern prints, slides, and negatives of present-day or historical scenes, either created by, donated to, or loaned to the museum. Objects in this collection are used for programs, publicity, research, publications, and exhibits.

Research Collection

The Research Collection consists of magazine and newspaper articles, books, research manuscripts, maps, and photocopies of historical documents and local directories, as well as museum-generated research reports and oral histories. Objects in this collection are frequently used for public and staff research.

Museum Archives

The museum archives consists of posters, programs, and props that document the museumís history.

How to Donate:

The museum collects historical objects that document the rich and unique history of Rogers and Benton County from 1819, when the Arkansas Territory was formed, to the present. Photographs, costumes, documents, and memorabilia are just a portion of what the museum collects. The museum also collects objects from the late Victorian period that represent turn-of-the-20th-century life in Benton County.

If you have an object or a collection of objects which you would like to donate to the museum, please call first to ascertain whether or not we can accept the donation. Contact curator of collections
Jami Roskamp at 479-621-1154 or

Click here for more gift information for donors.

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