The collections of the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame document the history of women in the American West. More than 5,000 artifacts and 5,000 photographs illustrate and preserve the stories of a diverse group of remarkable women from artists like Maria Martinez and musicians like Patsy Cline to ranchers like Fern Sawyer and athletes like Jan Youren. This includes a variety of objects from costumes and historic clothing, boots, spurs and saddles to papers and photographs related to the formation of the Girls Rodeo Association in the 1940s. The Museum is home to one of the most extensive collections of artifacts related to women in the American West.
The majority of artifacts in the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame’s collection were donated by the public. The Museum collects objects and materials that document women who have distinguished themselves while exemplifying the American West and the Pioneer spirit. The Museum is dedicated to collecting objects relating to Hall of Fame Honorees as well as objects and/or collections relating to women of the American West that may not be well represented elsewhere. The Museum also collects objects that illustrate the cowgirl’s enduring legacy throughout popular culture.
There are many things the Museum considers before accepting an artifact into the collection. These include:
Does the object relate to a Hall of Fame Honoree or nominee?
What is the object’s exhibit potential?
Is the object in good condition?
What is the object’s historical significance?
Does the object have a clear and documented history of ownership?
Would the object be useful for research, reference, publication, or educational programming?
What impact would the object have on available storage space?
Does acceptance of the object come with burdensome restrictions?
For a list of frequently asked questions about donating an artifact, please click here.