The Collections

The collection of historical objects and documents that the museum holds in trust for the citizens of the region contains more than 50,000 items.

The scope of the museum’s collection spans the entire period of human habitation in southwest New Mexico, from thousands of years ago to yesterday.

The H.B. Ailman House (a.k.a. the museum building)

Built by prospector and businessman Henry Ailman in 1881, this Mansard/Italianate Victorian home is he museum’s single largest artifact. The building was first a family home, then a boarding house, did a brief stint as City Hall, and for 35 years became the town fire station before becoming the Silver City Museum in 1967.

The Photographic Collection

More than 20,000 photographs in the collection include images of: 

  • The Built Environment
  • Grant County
  • Mining
  • People
  • Ranching
  • Silver City
  • And Many Other Subjects

The Object Collection

More than 20,000 objects tell stories across eras and cultures that have shaped our corner of New Mexico: from the ancient Mimbreno people, through waves of conquest, settlement, immigration, health- and wealth-seeking, to contemporary inhabitants touched by those legacies:

  • household and personal objects, 
  • clothing and accessories, 
  • furnishings and equipment
  • tools of trade and commerce
  • inventions and technology, 
  • And much more.

Paper Archives

This section of the collection includes:

  • Business Records
  • Ledgers
  • Magazine
  • Maps
  • Mining Records
  • Newspapers
  • Yearbooks

Donating to the Silver City Museum Collection

Older Iron
A Mimbres pot
  1. Ashley Smith

    Registrar & Collections Manager