Paper Trails at County Museum

“Paper Trails—telling our stories with paper and ink” will open in the San Bernardino County Museum’s Fisk Gallery on December 4. This special exhibit invites visitors to explore paper-based artifacts from the museum’s history archives that managed to survive until today. The exhibit is included in museum general admission.

“How many times in a day do you throw away a slip of paper with a note on it, a letter you received, a movie ticket, or the packing from a product you have purchased?” asked Michele Nielsen, the museum’s curator of history. “For that matter, how many times in a day do you shred a print copy of an e-mail? All of these paper-based items are ephemeral. They are not meant to be kept, and they are seemingly inconsequential, but over time they can have real meaning. Documents, letters, hastily scribbled notes, and even advertising materials are a fascinating way to discover things about our past and gain insights into our county’s history.”

As a part of the exhibit, visitors can try an old style of handwriting, long-since out of use, and try to decipher popular words and phrases from the past. Read historic diary and journal entries and correspondence. How do they compare to the scrapbooking, journaling, and electronic communicating we do today?

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9 am to 5pm. General admission is $8 (adult), $6 (military or senior), $5 (student), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit The museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.