The Erie Canal Museum collection includes printed and manuscript materials, maps, photographs, motion picture film, video and audio recordings (such as oral histories), paintings, artifacts and other items which:
- deal with the Enlarged Erie Canal, the Old Erie Canal, the New York State Barge Canal, the lateral canals, and the pre-Erie Canals of New York State;
- are related to Canadian canals, the Panama Canal, other western hemisphere canals, and English canals, to the extent that they support specific research projects;
- are related to other canals, to the extent that they support specific research projects.
The Erie Canal Museum seeks to expand the scope and quality of its collections by the thoughtful acquisition of artifacts and archival material. The Erie Canal Museum does not provide appraisals of donated objects. It is the responsibility of the donor to provide such evaluation if necessary. Where a professional appraisal has been conducted the museum will request a copy for its files. Staff may not assist a donor in finding an appraiser.
Items will not be acquired for the museum’s collections unless the following conditions are met:
- The objects are relevant to and consistent with the museum’s mission, collection areas and levels;
- The museum can provide for the storage, protection, and preservation of the objects under conditions that insure their availability for museum purposes and in keeping with professionally accepted standards;
- It is intended that the objects shall have permanency in the collections as long as they retain their physical integrity, their identity, and their authenticity, and as long as they remain useful for the purposes of the museum.