Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Museum’s mission?
The Museum's mission is to document, preserve, interpret, and educate about the history of greater Renton, in ways that engage diverse people of all ages. In order to achieve our mission, the Board of Truestees approved a new Strategic Plan in autumn 2010.
Where does the Museum get its funding from?
The Museum is jointly funded by the City of Renton and the Renton Historical Society, a private non-profit organization that is a 501(c)3. RHS covers all expenses relating to the Museum’s mission, including exhibits, programs, and collections care and storage. Your donations help make the difference when it comes to new exhibits, more frequent programs, and improved care of our objects and photographs. For future growth, RHS has an endowment, a fund designed to grow until the interest can provide the bulk of operating funds.
Is the Museum interested in donations of objects and photos?
Yes, the Museum is interested in donations to our collections. Photographs and archives (historic documents) are among the most used collections at the Museum and are very important to researchers. Objects are also of interest. The museum is currently short on storage space, so any object we accept must have a solid connection to Renton’s history. Objects that come from Renton families or were used in Renton and have stories attached to them are most desirable. Please contact the Museum if you are interested in making a donation.
What is a Master Plan, and why does the Renton History Museum have one?
Like many museums these days, the Renton History Museum has been re-examining its role as a center for lifelong learning in the 21st century. A grant from the City of Renton has enabled us to work with Gyroscope Inc., a nationally known museum planning and design firm, to create a Museum Master Plan for the next 15 years of sustainable museum operations. Our Master Plan provides a comprehensive set of strategies for meeting the museum’s mission—documenting, preserving, interpreting, and educating about our community’s history—while more closely aligning our projects to the needs and interests of the people we serve. The Master Plan creates an exciting new museum concept that will improve the museum as a learning environment, enhance it as a place for the exchange of ideas, and reacquaint the community with our status as Renton’s only heritage organization. Click here for more information.
What do volunteers do at the Museum?
The Museum literally could not keep its doors open without its volunteers! Volunteers staff the Museum on Saturdays, greeting visitors and answering their questions. Volunteer docents provide guided tours to school groups and other organizations. Longer term volunteers are specially trained to work with the Collection Manager on special projects with objects and photographs. Volunteers also assist during special events, such as Renton River Days, helping visitors and assisting children with activities.
How can I do research at the Museum?
The Renton History Museum has a small research library open to the public by appointment Monday through Friday. Among the resources available are: Renton High School yearbooks; newspaper clipping files organized by topic and family name; Renton newspapers from the 1930s through the 1980s; city directories; and published books about Renton and nearby cities. Staff can also assist with researching the Museum’s photographs and obituary collection. To make an appointment, please call 425.255.2330 at least one week in advance.