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Museums - Learn About the Collections

The Ketchikan Museums, in partnership with the Tongass Historical Society, provide stewardship of artifacts and archives that showcase the Ketchikan area's unique history.

What does "collection stewardship" mean?   

  • The museum owns, exhibits, or uses collections that are appropriate to our mission. 
  • The museum legally, ethically and effectively manages, documents, cares for and uses the collections. 
  • The museum's collection-based research is conducted according to appropriate scholarly standards.
  • The museum strategically plans for the use and developemtn of its collections.
  • Guided by our mission, the museum provides public access to its collections while ensuring their preservation.

 - American Alliance of Museums Characteristics of Excellence

Please note that effective June 1, 2016, Ketchikan Museums will impose a moratorium on research and reproduction requests until December 31, 2016.


Thank you for your interest in donating an artifact to the Ketchikan Museums. At this time, Ketchikan Museums is not accepting donations to the collection. A temporary moratorium is in effect until December 31, 2016 to allow collections staff time to prepare for the renovation of the first floor of the Tongass Historical Museum in the historic Centennial Building.

If you are interested in making a donation, we invite you to complete a Donor Questionnaire  providing us with information about your offer. After confirming receipt of your questionnaire, we will be in contact again in January 2017 to discuss your offer. In very limited instances for artifacts of significant historical importance, exceptions to the collections moratorium may be made. Please direct questions to Sr. Curator of Collections, Hayley Chambers, at (907) 225-5600 or

Research requests and photo orders

Effective June 1, 2016, Ketchikan Museums will impose a moratorium on research and reproduction requests until December 31, 2016. This is necessary to allow our staff to focus on collections care during the renovation of the Centennial Building. Please check our website for updates about when research services will be offered again.

Research requests and photo orders initiated by June 1, 2016 will be honored. At this time, we are able to accommodate one appointment per researcher per week. In limited instances for City of Ketchikan or other governmental inquiries, we will respond to the request within 2 weeks. We regret any inconvenience the moratorium may cause to your research plans and appreciate your understanding. The renovation of the Centennial Building will result in improved care of and access to the Ketchikan Museums’ collection in the long term.

We invite you to explore the following on-line resources to help with your research needs:

· Recently, over a million documents have been scanned by  in partnership with the Alaska State Archives to make records available to the public for Alaskan genealogy research. This new resource is available here:

·  Alaska Digital Archives:

·  Alaska Historical Society:

Learn more about the museum's collection here: