The Collections contain more than 3,000 objects dating from several thousand years in the past to the present.
A comprehensive collection of 18th and 19th century Alutiiq and Aleut (Alaska Native) material culture includes items from daily life as well as ceremonial objects. One of the first objects accepted into the collection was a 26-foot long, wood frame Alutiiq baidarka or qayaq (kayak), covered in sea lion skin, constructed in the late 1800s.
A historical collection from the Russian and early American eras in Alaska includes tools, weapons, trade goods, textiles and household utensils. Outstanding among the Russian pieces are examples of seal-skin currency printed by the Russian-American Company in the 1820s, a cast-iron bust of Tsar Alexander I, brought o Alaska in 1804, and Russian Orthodox iconography.
Alaskan art is well represented in the collection with approximately 500 pieces, including oil paintings, watercolor, pen & ink, sculpture, scrimshaw, carvings, egg tempera iconography, and multimedia. Artists represented in the collection include Sydney Lawrence, Eustace Ziegler, Joshephine Crumrine Liddell, Alvin Amason, Peter Lind, Sr., Jacob Simeonoff, Jim Dillard, Shari Hazzard-Doyle and Bruce W. Nelson, among many others.