About our Collection

The purpose and mission of the Fenton History Center Museum and Library is to provide educational and cultural opportunities for residents and visitors of Chautauqua County through the collection, preservation, and exhibition of artifacts and archival materials pertaining to Jamestown and southern Chautauqua County.

In pursuit of that goal, the Center actively collects objects, photographs, and documents that illustrate the history and culture of Jamestown, New York, and Southern Chautauqua County. Our publicly-accessible research and genealogical library cast a wider net, accepting information and books related to the northeast United States.

Donate to Our Collection

Any person wishing to donate an item to the Center will be required to sign a document known as a Deed of Gift, which transfers all copyright, legal, and material rights related to the item permanently to the Fenton History Center. In select cases involving rare or unique information, the Center may accept a photocopy in place of the original. Donations may be accepted or denied solely at the discretion of Fenton History Center staff, who will make a determination based on the needs and restrictions of our collections and storage space. In accordance with government regulations, we are not allowed to appraise items that are to be donated or anything within our collections. Items that are donated are not guaranteed to be used in an exhibit or public space, and will not necessarily be kept in the collection forever. If an item is deemed unsuitable for further inclusion in the collection, we will first try to return it to its past owner; if the past owner does not want it or cannot be located by reasonable means, we will dispose of the item by whichever means are found to be most appropriate.

If you have an item that you’d like to donate, please contact our Collections Manager, Norman Carlson, at, or by calling 716-664-6256. You can also bring potential donations to our Research Center at 73 Forest Avenue in Jamestown, New York.