The Collections at FCMoD

The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery collections hold approximately 38,000 objects, collected since the museum’s inception in 1941. The Fort Collins Museum of Discovery collections are both specific, in that they focus on the Fort Collins area and Cache La Poudre Valley; and broad, in that they consist of a wide variety of materials and types of objects — everything from massive seed sorting machines to delicate human hair jewelry, from stone tools dating back thousands of years to yard signs from the most recent local elections.

Most prominent among the museum’s collections are the stone objects shaped by some of our area’s earliest people, which include many hundreds of artifacts collected at the famous Folsom-era Lindenmeier site, located just north of Fort Collins, as well as earlier objects representing the Clovis cultural complex. These collections are utilized by archaeological researchers from throughout the world, and consulted by Native American groups and individuals with ties to our region. Historians interested in life at Camp Collins find the diaries and log books maintained by individuals stationed there of special interest. Researchers often consult the Museum’s locally focused historic clothing and textile collections as well. Household and personal artifacts dating from the mid-19th century to the present make up the bulk of the Museum’s collection, and offer researchers intimate insights into the lives of local residents.

Only a small percentage of the Museum’s Collections are on display at any one time. Objects which are not on display are cared for in one of our storage areas and are available for supervised, on-site research use. Anyone wishing to conduct research on any aspect of these collections can make an appointment to do so by contacting our Collections Engagement Manager, Jordan Dresser by emailing him at

Donate an artifact to the Collection

The Museum’s collection of artifacts is guided by its Collections Objectives, which state that the Museum “will collect materials that illustrate the history of the people and environments of the Fort Collins area. Artifacts collected by the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery will be specific to the Fort Collins area and Cache La Poudre Valley, or be representative of a regional or national lifestyle trend of which Fort Collins was/is a part”. The Museum actively collects objects that help tell the story of science in our region.

Generally, the Museum is interested in objects that fulfill these criteria:

  • Have a strong connection to the Fort Collins area and community. The more background information that comes with an object, the more valuable it will be as a museum artifact.
  • Are in good condition. The Museum does not have a conservator on staff, or a budget to fund extensive conservation work. Objects should be in a suitable condition to be exhibited.
  • Do not duplicate objects already in the collection.

Do you have an object to donate? Please contact Collections Engagement Manager, Jordan Dresser at