Our museum is home to thousands of objects, artifacts and ephemera that chronicle life in Pascack Valley from Lenape Indian days until the present. The scope of our collection is staggering – considering the size of the region we serve. At any given time, we display only a portion of our collection. This is often because of space limitations and the delicacy of certain items such as paper and textiles which can be damaged by light, heat and humidity and must only be displayed for short periods of time. The following list of collections is not meant to be comprehensive, but merely to describe some of our larger or more frequently used collections.
Ranging from the tiny ( a hat pin) to the enormous( a life sized wooden horse and sleigh) the artifact collection helps document Pascack Valley life. Our permanent museum displays include: a General Store, a Colonial Room, a Victorian Parlor, 5000 year-old Lenape Indian tools, a life size wooden horse pulling a winter sleigh, Civil War items, an Early School Days display, Antique Toys, early Farming and Business exhibits, an 1800s wooden tool workshop and displays of early handicrafts.
The museum’s lower level is home to a huge textile and costume collection featuring:
● a large vintage bridal collection
● garments, hats, accessories from the late 1700s to the 1950s
● a prestigious military garments and accessory collection
● quilts, coverlets and linens of all types
● a vintage handbag collection
● baby clothes
● Civil War mourning garments
These items are not available for view unless they are contained in special displays in the museum. We do, however, permit validated researchers and scholars to have access to our collection when appropriate.
The photograph collection offers an amazing insight into life in the Pascack Valley. Subjects range from street scenes, farm life, early homes, people (known and unknown), businesses, school life, military life, community events, etc.
Our Photographing Collection is available for viewing during our regular visiting hours. Select photographs may be reproduced on our scanner for a modest donation.
Our earliest archival items date back to the 1700s. We maintain files for the eight towns of the Pascack Valley (Westwood, Hillsdale, Emerson, Woodcliff Lake, Montvale, Park Ridge, Township of Washington, and River Vale) as well as bordering towns, special past events, county and state history. These files may be examined by non-members by appointment.
Our Ephemera Department , located in the lower level, is not on view to the public. Researchers, private and professional, may contact the museum and speak to a volunteer archivist to discuss the contents available for their scholarly use.
This area contains early local newspapers, school yearbooks, ledgers, legal documents, organizational papers,etc. Items in this collections are maintained in a stable climate of appropriate humidity and temperature so that their integrity is maintained.
Our small library collection provides a useful reference for students and interested people of all ages. Our shelves contain books pertaining to local, county, state and national history. We also feature a section related to the Lenape people. While the Society does not lend material from its library, special requests for copies of pages from certain items may be granted for a small donation.
Selected items from the museum’s collection of original art works are displayed publicly on a rotating bases. The sizeable collection includes, oils, acrylics, prints and lithographs, all preserved and stored with care.
This important component is a work in progress. Our all volunteer force hopes to add a digitized collection section to this website in the near future.