North Carolina Museum of History
USINFO | 2013-05-03 15:05


The North Carolina Museum of History is located in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina. Permanent exhibits focus on the state’s military history, decorative arts, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, and more. Visitors will see a variety of short-term and traveling exhibits. (An exhibit list follows the "History" section below.) Admission is free, and special programs include craft demonstrations, music concerts and family events. The Museum Shop features North Carolina crafts. The museum is a part of the Division of State History Museums, Office of Archives and History, an agency of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.

Frederick Augustus Olds, known as the “father” of the North Carolina Museum of History, began collecting items from across North Carolina in the late 19th century. He traversed the state, acquiring pieces of the past and the stories associated with them. Some of the objects were related to events in the state’s history, while others might have seemed rather strange. (One item was simply labeled a “box of rocks.”) Olds amassed a large private collection, and on December 5, 1902, he merged his items with the collection owned and displayed in the State Museum (the modern-day North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences). This assortment of historical artifacts became known as the "Hall of History" and was opened to the public. Thirty-seven cases contained everything from a studded shoe buckle owned by James Iredell to the death mask of Confederate General Robert Hoke.

Since that time, the inductees, elected annually, have donated mementos of their sports careers to the Hall of Fame. In 1969 the Charlotte Coliseum agreed to display these objects in the corridor of the building, hoping to eventually expand the building to include a room dedicated to the Hall of Fame. The expansion never occurred, however, and in 1981 the objects moved to the North Carolina Museum of History.

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