Top 10 Artifact Lists

Discover our rarest, most fascinating and dangerous treasures in the park museum collection. This special centennial digital feature will showcase 100 artifacts throughout the year on the park website and Facebook page. On the first day of the month from January to October 2016, we will release a new “Top 10” list.

Top 10 Dangers in the 19th Century Home - War, disease, alcohol abuse, and working conditions were among the top dangers to Harpers Ferry families. These artifacts depict the drama of common, and some uncommon, local dangers.

Top 10 Tokens of Love - Signs of love and affection in 19th century Harpers Ferry can be found in the artifacts cherished and shared between loved ones. We won’t feature the popular valentines that were mass-produced and sold in local stores by the 1850s. These objects tell a more personal tale, and some hidden meanings, of the everyday tokens of love.

Top 10 Rare and Endangered Artifacts - The park museum collection contains over 1.2 million artifacts. Among this large group of American treasures, there are rare artifacts not known to exist in another museum collection. Objects also require constant monitoring and preventative conservation (cleaning and environmental management). A few of the artifacts featured in this list are considered “endangered” because they require conservation to repair and stabilize active deterioration. As we prepare some of the endangered artifacts for conservation treatment, we are able to share “before treatment” images here with you!

Top 10 Ruins - A ruin is usually described as a building or structure that is no longer habitable or functioning according to its original intentions. Most of the records associated with documenting and maintaining ruins become part of the museum collection as Resource Management Program archives.

For additional information about the park's museum collection, feel free to explore the National Park Service's Museum Web Catalog.


Last updated: August 2, 2016

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Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


(304) 535-6029

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