The Victorian passion for travel initiated a generation of cultural collectors eager to show-off their exotic treasures. Friends and family of Franklin Fairbanks donated many of these souvenirs to our collections; other objects were brought back by missionaries and representatives of the Fairbanks Scales Company. These artifacts offer a rare glimpse into cultural diversity of faraway places that would have been exotic to viewers from northern New England in the 19th century. These objects include tools, weapons, indigenous costumes and woven textiles, beautiful decorative arts, household items, toys and trade materials. Even archaeological artifacts were acquired from the American Northwest, Malaysia, the Philippines, Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Displays featuring some of these items can be found in our upstairs galleries.
Victorian lifestyle can be observed through such items as housewares, dolls, fashion attire, textiles, memorabilia, archival photos, diaries and community records which are all part of this collection.