Preserving the material and intellectual culture of Benton County, Oregon

Our collection includes over 140,000 artifacts, including 60,000 pieces in the Horner Collection which were acquired by BCHS in 2008. The collection consists of photographs, historical documents, textiles, quilts, clothing, domestic arts, farm implements, natural history, scientific instruments, and personal possessions.

Contact us to donate an artifact.


Our online collections database is a work in progress! We add new records daily, and records are updated based on new research and review.

  • Thank you to the Benton County Cultural Coalition (Oregon Cultural Trust) and to the many volunteers who assist each day in documenting materials in the collection.


Each year hundreds of scholars, genealogists, students, owners of historic homes, and the curious find answers at the Library.

  • The Library provides access to an extensive non-circulating collection of documents, photographs, architectural plans, newspapers, family genealogies, maps, and more.
  • Free to use
  • Available by appointment only
Philomath Museum

historic business directories

The directories contain information about the history of Benton County businesses from 1867-1914. Included in this database are excerpts from McKenney, Langley, and Polk Business Directories with an emphasis on Corvallis, Monroe, and Philomath.




From historic toys and tools to prehistoric animals and natural history artifacts ...

"See the world without leaving Corvallis!" That was the idea of John B. Horner, a professor at Oregon Agricultural College (now OSU) for more than 40 years, who created the College Museum in 1925. With eclectic collections from a variety of sources, the museum attracted tens of thousands of visitors every year. The beloved museum closed in 1995, but the artifacts and photographs live on as part of the Benton County Historical Society's collection.f

Oregon State University Horner Museum Collection is sponsored and supported in part by the Horner Museum Fund.

Featured finds

Learn about some artifacts from our collection!


Thanks to a generous gift from Peter and Rosalie Johnson, our artifacts are protected and preserved in a state-of-the-art climate-controlled facility in Philomath, Oregon.

Philomath Museum

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