In 1915, the Central State Historical Society actively collected items for the new museum. By 1917, hundreds of items had been collected and the Society had grown to over 100 members. The collection included Native American items, photographs, historical furniture, books, weapons, documents, coins, Civil War items, pioneer objects, and material relating to early campus life.
The Central State Historical Society wanted their museum to act "...as a conservator of the remains of the past generations..." and also as "...an aggressive educational agency."
Collected documents, photographs, and objects, were used to teach history through the use of "original evidence".
The collection has grown to document more than a century of UCO history.