The Chiefseum - Atlas Obscura

The Chiefseum

In one man's basement, the world's largest collection of Kansas City Chiefs memorabilia is on display. 

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Curt Herrman began building the Chiefseum after the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl IV in 1970. He was just eight years old, and received a Chiefs football that year on his birthday. Every Christmas and birthday since, friends and family would send more Chiefs memorabilia. Over 50 years and almost 2,000 pieces of Kansas City Chiefs memorabilia later, Herrman has earned a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records and opens up his collection to anyone who would like to visit.

“A lot of times I’ll kind of think to myself, ‘okay, I’ve got enough, I need to slow down because I’m running out of space and I have to make more room,’” says Herrman. “And then I’ll happen to be driving through a small town and there’s a little antique store. I’ll pull in and there will be three or four things in there that I just can’t live without.”

The items in the Chiefseum come from antique stores, eBay bidding wars, and more. Many of them are signed by Chiefs players. One wall is covered in items related Derrick Thomas, linebacker and defensive end who is considered one of the greatest pass rushers in football history. Other shelves are filled with signed jerseys, newspaper clippings, posters, model cars, player figurines, and more.

Among the more valuable items in the collection is an old Christmas card signed by, among others, Lamar Hunt, who helped found the American Football League (now the American Football Conference), and owned the Chiefs from 1960 to 2005.

Items in the Chiefseum span much of the football team’s history, with one of the oldest items dating back to when the team was located in Dallas, Texas, and known as the Texans. Herrman keeps extensive records of the items in the collection. Each new item is photographed and entered into a database. The one thing that you won’t see in the record-setting collection is sports cards. “I do not think cards should qualify for this record,” he says, “since they are cheap, easy to obtain and entire collection can be kept in a single book.”

All of Herrman’s items are out and on display in the basement of his home in Manhattan, Kansas. He plans to pass the collection on to his children.

Know Before You Go

To visit the collection, you can reach out to Curt Herman through the Chiefseum website.

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