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The Douglas County Museum of Natural and Cultural History exists to collect, preserve, interpret, and display our community's shared history through evocative exhibits and dynamic programming. The role of the Museum is one of education. Through the use of real historic objects and period reproductions we strive to share information on how past events have led to current conditions, and how today's actions will shape the future. The connection between past and future and the implications of human action is a central mission to the Douglas County Museum. This connection is particularly important for school-aged children to understand. Acknowledging this, the Museum is refocusing its energies toward children with a redevelopment of our exhibition areas to make them more kid-friendly. When children can better engage with the information presented within an exhibition, the more readily they learn.
The Douglas County Museum has been collecting, preserving and exhibiting natural and cultural history items for more than 50 years. At DCM, Oregon’s largest natural history collection, more than 7,500 items, tells the story of the Umpqua River Valley. DCM houses one of the Northwest’s most comprehensive plant collections in its research Herbarium with nearly 3,000 catalogued specimens. The historical artifact collection is one of the most extensive in the state with over 8,640 items that illustrate area history. The Museum holds Oregon’s second largest historic photograph collection with more than 24,000 images going back as early as the mid 19th century. The Museum also provides public access to research materials for those who are interested in the people, places and events of Douglas County. The Douglas County Museum aims to offer a range of fun, dynamic, and fascinating programs for all ages, and a particular goal to reach school-aged children in Douglas County. Programs in development for 2019-2020 include field trips for school groups and homeschool students; after-school program outreach to area schools and youth centers; STEAM camps over school breaks; and hands-on activities and experiments on themed Saturdays, such as "Stormfront Saturday" or "Supernatural Saturday"; talks and lectures from local experts in their fields; and community outreach and fundraising events such as Museum Trivia. We also hope to offer opportunities in professional development for youth especially by increasing their own involvement with the Museum.