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North Carolina Museum of History

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The North Carolina Museum of History is alive with the past-your past. It is as full of life and personalities as it is people who care for the collection, people who interpret the collection, and people who visit the collection. It is also alive with the contributions of all the people involved in its creation, development, and growth.

The Division of State History Museums collects and preserves artifacts and other historical materials relating to the history and heritage of North Carolina in a local, regional, national, and international context to assist people in understanding how the past influences the present. The Division interprets the state's history through exhibitions, educational programs, and publications available to the visitor on-site or through distance-learning technologies.

While visiting Boston in the early 1880s, Raleigh News and Observer publisher Samuel A'Court Ashe marveled at that city's past. Everywhere he looked he saw its story. After returning home, Ashe began an editorial campaign to encourage the saving of North Carolina's history so that others, natives and visitors, could learn of the lives our ancestors lived.

Two events evolved out of this campaign. First, one of Ashe's colleagues, city editor Frederick Augustus Olds, the "father" of the North Carolina Museum of History, began collecting objects from North Carolina's past. He traveled all across North Carolina picking up pieces of the state' s history and listening to the stories associated with each item. Second, a gallery of history was set up in 1898 in the State Museum (now called the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences) in the old Agriculture Building.

Olds had soon developed a sizable private collection and suggested that his collection and the historical material in the State Museum be combined to establish a state historical museum. On December 5, 1902, Olds's private collection and the State Museum's collection were merged and opened to the public as the Hall of History. Olds wrote, "There are thirty-seven [cases] which to be sure are very completely filled while much of the space on the walls is occupied by pictures." The cases were mothproof, dustproof, and had double safety locks.

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Details and Specs

Hours of Operation:
Mon9:00 AM5:00 PM
Tue9:00 AM5:00 PM
Wed9:00 AM5:00 PM
Thr9:00 AM5:00 PM
Fri9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sat9:00 AM5:00 PM
Sun12:00 PM5:00 PM
Notes: None Listed


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