Collections and Archives

Historic Geneva collects objects that illustrate the community’s stories. Our collections  include anything from items that were made in Geneva and/or by Genevans, used or owned by locals, or have a connection to an institution, event, or person relative to the community.  Our time period ranges from the 1780s through the present day.  Although we have to be selective due to space limitations, our collecting never ends.

Our collections range from Indigenous artifacts to contemporary items. Currently the entire collection consists of approximately 5,700 three-dimensional objects, 3,400 costumes and textiles, 1,000 cubic feet of archival materials and over 20,000 photographs. The William Walker Collection consists of American furniture and decorative arts from the 18th and 19th centuries. The objects displayed within our sites include 18th and 19th century furnishings and artwork. A large collection of drain tiles are on display at the Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum at the Johnston House.

A variety of digital materials from our archives are available through New York Heritage.  Available finding aids and a  list of collections can be viewed through the Empire Archival Discovery Cooperative. Explore Geneva’s diverse communities through our online resources.

The artifacts in our archival and three-dimensional collections are the core of Geneva’s history.  We use them for exhibits at the Geneva History Museum (link), and to furnish Rose Hill Mansion and Johnston House. Archival materials are available to the public through the Research Room. The Curator and Archivist work diligently to protect and preserve our collection for future generations.

We, however, only have enough space to display roughly 3% of our collections at any given time.  The rest of our artifacts are kept in storage, but even there they need protection and care to preserve them for the future To help us care for our collections, consider participating in our adopt an artifact program.   The adoption fee will contribute to the purchase of archival supplies and materials like folders, document boxes, and protector sleeves.