Museum collections come in many forms, all with characteristics that make them worthy of long-term preservation and management. Museum collections held by Reclamation consist primarily of archaeological objects and their associated records, but also include natural history specimens, historic objects, documents, art, photographs, and ethnographic items. Reclamation has an estimated 8 million museum objects and documents. See collection overview for more details of the types of objects held within Reclamation's museum property collection.
The Museum Property Program is a subset of Reclamation's larger Cultural Resources Management Program. The objectives of the Museum Property Program are to identify, preserve, and interpret museum objects that are stored or exhibited at ten Reclamation facilities and seventy non-Reclamation facilities. The program manages such property for the public's use and benefit. Reclamation's unique collection serves to illustrate important achievements and challenges of water delivery in the 17 Western States and to document the history of Reclamation.