The collections of Portland Museum play an important role in understanding American life in a particular yet representative place, detailing the history and material culture of Portland, once an independent town at the Falls of the Ohio and now an urban neighborhood of Louisville. The growing collection includes artifacts, costumes, paintings, drawings, photographs, documents, oral histories, and vernacular objects. The collection is further informed by a body of research.

In addition, the Squire Earick House — an “American Treasure” — is part of Portland Museum’s collection and is the oldest timber-framed house still standing in Jefferson County. The museum has been carefully restoring the Squire Earick House over the past couple of decades, Portland Museum’s Squire Earick House research highlights important stories about life on the river’s edge, flatboats, steamboats, the Underground Railroad, and more. In 2016, the museum began a preservation camp at the house through our Young Curators program where middle and high school students spend a week exploring “how we know what we know” about the house and what it means for a free-standing house to be part of a museum collection.

Research Requests

If you wish to inquire about a research request, please fill out the Research Request form below. There is usually a small fee associated with this service.

PLEASE READ: Unfortunately, the collection is not currently available to the public for research. While we work towards making the collection accessible, the staff will do its best to process research requests on an as-time-allows basis — but please keep in mind that we are a very small team, and the museum’s day-to-day upkeep and programming, as well as our current focus on facility and exhibit changes, has us generally spread thin.