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Due to staffing reductions during the pandemic, we cannot accept donations of collections materials at this time.

Willamette Heritage Center Collections


In order to fulfill its mission, the Willamette Heritage Center has extensive collections documenting the history of the Mid-Willamette Valley. This includes everything from heavy textile machinery to fragile photographs.

We have over:

  • 23,834 objects

  • 200,000 photographs (49,129 currently catalogued)

  • 8,000 books

  • and 4,600 archival collections

Collections History:

The Center’s current holdings are anchored by the materials collected for half a century by its predecessor organizations the Marion County Historical Society (est. 1950) and the Mission Mill Museum (est. 1964). The bulk of the collections are centered around Marion County, Oregon and the greater Salem area. Materials are consistently displayed in our permanent and changing exhibits and are available to researchers through our library and archives.


Scope of Collections


The Willamette Heritage Center collections house unique objects, photographs, archives and library materials with documentary significance to the history, lifeways and culture of the greater Salem area, Marion County, Oregon, and when deemed appropriate, desirable or necessary, the Mid-Willamette Valley region.  Click here to read our scope of collections statement.


We do not currently have a way to search our collections online, but we are working on developing an online catalog system.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact us with inquiries.  Also, check out our growing list of finding aides for various collections below!  Our blog is also a great way to search for materials we have highlighted from our collections.  Use the Blog Search function in the left menu to search for specific topics.


Digital Collections


For questions or inquiries you can contact Willamette Heritage Center Research Staff by email.

Email: research@willametteheritage.org