Northwest Railway Museum Collection
The Northwest Railway Museum three dimensional Collection is broken into two categories by size, Large Objects consisting of artifacts over 1-ton in size and Small Objects consisting of artifacts under 1-ton. The Large Object Collection contains representative examples of Northwest railway history including steam and diesel locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars, maintenance of way equipment (used to maintain the right of way), a five mile segment of historic railroad, and a nineteenth century train station.
The Museum's Small Object Collection contains thousands of textiles such as uniforms, lanterns, tools and equipment, motor cars or speeders, and many other types of small artifacts. All of these artifacts offer some insight into the significance railroads played in the development of the Northwest.
The Museum has a library and archives collection incorporating thousands of photographs, drawings, publications, ephemera, and even paintings. This Collection is of interest to researchers but it also used to support the three dimensional object collections and its interpretation.
The Museums's new Conservation and Restoration Center is allowing significant improvements in collection care and will allow more artifacts to be placed on exhibition as they are rehabilitated. Unlike many museums where a large object is the size of a chair or desk, and small objects are normally the size of pencils, at the Northwest Railway Museum many large objects require heavy equipment to move. Because of this working scale, it takes several years to rehabilitate just one one object in the collection.
For more information about Museum Collection Care and Preservation please see the National Park Service's Museum Handbook, the Secretary of Interior's Preservation Standards, and American Alliance of Museum's Collections Stewardship.