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Your Collection

The Tri-Cities Historical Museum maintains an expansive collection of more than 70,000 artifacts that have been donated by generous organizations, businesses, and community members. *Your* collection includes a broad range of items--from archival materials such as photographs, maps, and books--to three-dimensional items as large as pianos and as small as buttons.

Your Community Archive and Research Center

The Community Archive and Research Center (CARC) is now open! In order to better serve our community and fulfill our mission, the CARC building was renovated to properly house the collection, open community access to research and exploration, and to provide space for interaction with collections staff. 

All About CARC: Community Tours

We're proud of our Community Archive and Research Center (CARC), and invite the public to learn how CARC can serve history explorers of all ages! Get a behind-the-scenes look at unique artifacts in the collection, learn how you can do research on your own family or business, and find out how we care for *your* local history.

Tours available for TCHM Members or for businesses/organizations or special groups. Click below to schedule! You'll receive an e-mail confirmation, plus a reminder email the day before your tour. 

Donating an artifact to the Collection

How we evaluate donations

The Collections Committee, made up of board, staff, and knowledgeable members of

community, meets each month to consider donated items. We evaluate items against these acquisition requirements: 

  • Is the item relevant to the history of northwest Ottawa County?

  • Does the item have exhibit or research potential?

  • Could the item be used for educational programs?

  • Can the item be properly stored, protected, and preserved in its current condition and with our available resources?

  • Does the item fill an identified gap in the collection or could it replace an inferior example?

  • Will this item be an unnecessary duplication?

If you are interested in donating:

Please download a donation form and email it to Jared Yax at along with a photo of the item(s) you wish to donate.


Please do not drop of items at the Museum until you have contacted our Curator of Collections, Jared Yax, and received a response on your potential donation.

Donating an Artifact

Work with the Collection

Have a local history question or looking for photographs? Collections staff will research the permanent collection for items pertaining to your request. For your convenience, we can of share watermarked digital copies of photographs or information via email. For rare occasions when artifacts need to be seen in person, an appointment can be made and staff will handle the artifact. For any questions or special requests please download a research request form or contact a member of the collection team. 


If you have any questions either chat with us by using the chat icon at the bottom of the screen or contact: 


Jared Yax

Collections Curator and Off-Site Facilities Manager

616-842-0700 X 200

Amber Chaffee


616-842-0700 X 201


Associate Collections Manager 

(616) 842-0700 ext. 202

Genealogy Guide 

Discover your roots with our comprehensive Genealogy Guide! This downloadable resource will help you get started by providing high-quality resources. Explore your family's past through databases, historical deeds, newspapers, and more!

Other local institutions for research:

Grand Valley State University Special Collections

Loutit District Library Local History & Genealogy

Ottawa County Register of Deeds

Spring Lake District Library Local History


Michigan Resources

Clarke Historical Library - Central Michigan University

Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History

Kutsche Office of Local History

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