LA as Subject

Collectively preserving, archiving and sharing the rich history and culture of Los Angeles

Riverside Metropolitan Museum

3580 Mission Inn Ave.
Riverside, CA 92501-3307

Contact: Mr. Vince Moses, Curator of History
Phone: 909-782-5273
Fax: 909-369-4970

Institution Type: Archive, Municipal-County, Museum

Web site:

Archives and Collections

Founded in 1924 as the Cornelius Earle Rumsey Indian Museum, the Riverside Municipal Museum presents multicultural and interdisciplinary exhibits and educational programs emphasizing the history, natural history, and anthropology of the inhabitants and environs of Riverside. Among the twenty-five thousand objects in the collections of the History Division are costumes, textiles, tools, artifacts, photographs, glass negatives, and archival boxes of documentary material. The central role Riverside County has played in the development of the modern citrus industry is documented by collections of machinery and equipment and by archival materials such as citrus crate labels, family photographs, business records, and letters from citrus growers, packers, and workers. Furnishings, decorative arts, textiles, and other household items commonly found in an orange grower’s home at the end of the nineteenth century are on exhibit at Heritage House, a Queen Anne-style house built in 1891 that was purchased by the Junior League and the Riverside Museum Association in 1969 to expand the museum’s programs. The History Division also collects archival materials, memorabilia, and oral histories that document the social, political, and cultural contributions of the African American, Asian American, European American, and Mexican American communities in Riverside County. In 1996, the exhibits “Westward to Canaan: Riverside’s African American Heritage, 1890–1950” and “Nuestros Antepasados: Riverside’s Mexican American Community, 1917–1950” made some of these materials available to the public. In 1985, the museum opened “From China to California: Riverside’s Chinatown,” a historical retrospective on Riverside’s Chinatown and the Chinese immigrant population of Riverside and California. Included in this two-year exhibit were some of the three thousand pounds of archaeological material excavated from Riverside’s Chinatown site and now housed by the History Division. The majority of the Anthropology Division’s thirteen thousand items are ethnographic. In addition to a large number of baskets and pottery objects produced by Native Americans, there are textiles, toys, cradle boards, and various other indigenous artifacts. The Natural History Division’s holdings comprise ten thousand specimens of rocks, minerals, fossils, insects, mollusks, crustaceans, and various other sea and land species found in the Riverside region. The division’s herbarium has a collection of over ten thousand dry plant specimens collected in Riverside and its surrounding counties from the 1920s to the 1970s.

Regions Covered: United States

Type of Materials: Cultural Artifacts, Materials & Objects, Diaries/Journals/Personal Papers, Manuscripts, Photographs

Time Periods: Pre-1848, 1848-1899, 1900-1920, 1921-1949, 1950-1963

Languages: Chinese, English, Japanese, Spanish

Sectors of the Population: Business, Clubs/Service/Social Organizations, Education, Migrant Workers, Politics/Government, Professional, African Descent, Asian Descent, Mexican Descent/Chicano/Latino, At or Below Poverty Level, Lower to Middle Income


Catalog System: The archive will be cataloged via month and year of publication and publication type.
Loan To Others: Yes
Outreach: Newsletter