Collections

The ever-expanding collection spans the years 1834 to the present and contains over 1,000,000 historic photographs, rare books, manuscripts, maps, architectural records, plein air paintings, and more. Significant collections include: the J. Allen Hawkins Photo Collection, the Pasadena Black History Collection, the Sylvanus Marston Architectural Collection, and the Ernest A. Batchelder Tile Collection and Archives. The Museum’s collections also contain significant artifacts and textiles relevant to the history of the area. Objects from the Museum’s collections are regularly on display in our changing exhibitions in the History Center.

Research Library & Archives

PMH maintains the area’s largest and most comprehensive collection of documents and artifacts related to the history of Pasadena and the west San Gabriel valley. The collection spans the years 1834 to the present and contains well over 1,000,000 historic photographs, rare books, manuscripts, maps, architectural records, and more.

Museum Collections

There are over 12,000 artifacts in the object collections. The Museum's collections contain significant paintings and artifacts relevant to the history of the area. Significant collections include the Costume & Textile Collection, the Ernest A. Batchelder Tile Collection, and a mid-century ceramics collection. A selection of fine art and decorative art from the Fenyes-Curtin-Paloheimo Collection can be viewed on the Fenyes Mansion Tour.

 

Batchelder TILE Registry

PMH has started compiling a registry of Batchelder tile installations throughout the United States and Canada and is asking for assistance from the public. If you have a Batchelder tile fireplace, fountain, or other type installation in your home or office, we would like to hear from you. Please us send a photograph with dimensions of your tile installation and the date of your house/building.

The GReat History Freeze

The over one-million photographic images in PMH’s Archives are among the Museum’s most valuable resources. In spite of careful preservation efforts, however, many of them are deteriorating at a rate that will destroy them completely within 20 years. Freezing the negatives puts them in a chemically inert state, limits off-gassing, and is cost effective. To date, around 56,000 negatives have been frozen.

Research Library & Archives Hours

Complimentary Access
Thursday through Sunday
1:00 to 4:00 pm*

No appointment necessary.

*Please note that the Research Library is closed on all major holidays. The Research Library's hours can be affected by the schedule at the Rose Bowl Stadium and special events.

Artifact Donations

The Museum’s collections have developed over the years through the generosity of donors. We do not have staff available for “walk-in” donation evaluations. If you have historically significant materials you would like to donate, please contact the Museum at 626.577.1660, ext. 12 or research@pasadenahistory.org.

Recent Articles

Grayson Arts

Grayson Arts, the firm which created artisan ceramics for the bath and home, was founded by husband and wife team John “Gail” and Helen Lee …

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Ernest A. Batchelder (1875-1957)

In comments about the tilemaker, Robert Winter, PhD has noted that Batchelder wrote two books on design and illustrated them with his own drawings. He …

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Artist in Residence

Batchelder tiles inspired Cha-Rie’s tile career. According to a 2013 article in the Pasadena Star-News, Cha-Rie “owns one of the largest collections of Batchelder molds …

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PMH Collection Policy Reflects Pasadena History

Among the more than 10,000 objects in the Pasadena Museum of History’s collection is a silver-mounted vase donated by the Estate of Mary M. Pearson. …

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