Three people walking toward a farm house in a storm
Homesteading mural by Gene Roncka at the Education Center

NPS photo

The museum has an extensive collection of over 900,000 items. Within this collection are textiles, household gadgets, farm tools, toys, medical equipment, plant and animal specimens, archaeological objects, art, and primary documents. These objects help us learn more about homesteaders, the impact of homesteading, and the plants and wildlife in the park.

Homestead National Historical Park was established in 1936. The legislation creating the park required the park to have a museum dedicated to telling the homesteading story of the United States of America. The Secretary of the Interior was directed to create "a museum in which shall be preserved literature applying to such settlement and agricultural implements used in bringing the western plains to its present high state of civilization."

Where can I see the collection?

Collection items are in exhibits throughout the park. Make sure to check out the window into the collection room at the Heritage Center. You can see items in storage and view a temporary exhibit of items in the collection. Part of our museum collection can be viewed in our online web catalog and at our digital archive on NPGallery.

How can I research the museum collection?

Primary sources in the archives document the lives of homesteaders, changes in agricultural technology, and the history of the park itself through letters, photographs, equipment manuals, blueprints, and more. Finding aids and digitized records help make this collection accessible to everyone. The museum program preserves these resources for future generations. These collections available for research, public enjoyment, and education.

Can I donate to the Collection?

The National Park Service is grateful to the many citizens that have contributed to this growing museum collection. The museum collection continues to grow, through donations to the collection. Learn more about donating to the collection.

Metal shelves with collection items
About the Collection

Learn more about the collection at Homestead National Historical Park and how it is managed.

A handwritten letter

The archives include records from homesteaders, agricultural equipment, records from the management of the park and more.

Photographing a museum object
Researching the Collection

Researchers are welcome to learn more about our collections. Learn about our research policies.

Donors with their donated quilt

The collection is constantly expanding. Learn about donating your homesteading related objects.



More about the Collection


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    Tags: collections

    Last updated: August 22, 2023

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    8523 West State Highway 4
    Beatrice, NE 68310


    402 223-3514

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