I was surprised how much they could pack into a smaller building and still maintain order and organization! This is perhaps the best SMALL museum I've ever visited.
The displays are well-labeled and the interpretive signs are clear and easy to read, while not too overwhelming. It's just enough information that you can absorb it and you don't need to bust out the "cheaters" because it's in a font that is suitable for reading at a slight distance from the display cases.
The artifacts on display are mostly related to Haines and the surrounding area but also some that are Alaskan in nature (on a grander scale) and even just relating to US history.
We really enjoyed some of the Native Alaskan culture items - I just love Tlingit and Haida designs and found many great displays and artifacts to ponder.
The kids area IS THE BEST I've ever seen period in a museum. We're not real avid museum-goers, but since this place is a historical collections museum and not directed at children specifically, the fact that there IS a children's corner is fantastic. The fact that it is so well-done is amazing. The Waldorf-inspired toys in the children's area are hand made by local women that were school teachers. (It shows.) They crafted a camping scene complete with a blueberry bush (with removable berries) and a salmon (with the "guts" and even eggs to navigate anatomical curiosity and a bit about the traditional ways of living before modern times as practiced in Alaska by tribal folks that lived there. Outstanding!
Bottom-line; We'd go back there in a heartbeat just for our son to enjoy the kids area again. It blew us away. The rest of the museum is interesting, but nothing compares to seeing your child learn in such a creative way. (We might have enjoyed playing in that area right along with him...)
Disclosure: We were invited to experience the Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center free of charge. All opinions are our own.