The museum has five core collections:
A - Historical artifacts. The majority of historical items are on permanent display, with some additional items in storage for preserving the Island’s history and may be included in temporary special exhibitions. All items are listed on a computer catalog system developed by the Museum of Queensland.
B - Photographic collection. The Museum holds over 4,000 photographic prints, negatives and slides. These have mostly been scanned and digitized to archival standards. Information on photographs has been collated on a cataloging software program. This photographic collection is growing, by donation of photographs from residents and visitors. A public access computer in the History Gallery is available for residents and visitors to peruse the collection catalog.
C – Philatelic collection. In 2005 the Lord Howe Island Museum purchased one of the most complete collections of philatelic items relating to Lord Howe Island. It includes an airmail cover carried by Sir Francis Chichester in 1931; and a 1d provisional stamp issued in 1915.
D - Library containing reference books relevant to natural and cultural history of the Island, scientific papers and reports, original manuscripts and notebooks. A digital collection of scientific papers is being collated for reference material. There is also a collection of video documentaries about Lord Howe Island.
E - Herbarium. A collection of pressed, dried plant specimens of island plant species is held at the Museum. This is not generally accessible to the public, but can be made available to researchers.