Collections and Research

The Geneva Historical Society collects things that illustrate the stories of the city and the surrounding area. This includes objects, clothing, photos, paintings, letters, journals and other items that were made in Geneva, used by its residents, or have a connection to a person, place, or thing in the city. Our time period ranges from the 1700s to yesterday, and we always seek to strengthen our collections.

Our object collection consists of approximately 7,000 three-dimensional objects and 2,000 costumes and textiles. They tell the stories of industry, transportation, retail stores, education, religion, recreation and leisure, and artistic pursuits.

The Archive consists of the two-dimensional paper portion of our collection. We have 1,300 cubic feet of archives material, which includes 50,000 images. Geneva’s stories are captured in letters, diaries, ledgers and minute books, and photographs.

The artifacts in our archival and three-dimensional collections are the core of Geneva’s history.  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.