About the Collections
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.
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
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;
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Terrilyn Wendling at 479-621-1154 or at
Click here for more gift information for donors.