Museum of Durham History, at 500 W. Main Street between Downtown Durham and Brightleaf Square, is free to visit.
It’s a young and growing museum, and you’ll also find exhibits throughout the community.
It’s open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Nuevo Espíritu de Durham Closing Reception
Saturday, January 4th, 2020
5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Join us on Saturday, January 4th from 5-7PM for the closing reception for our Nuevo Espíritu de Durham exhibit before it closes on January 5th. The exhibit’s lead curator, Rodrigo Dorfman will give a guided gallery talk about collecting stories from the Latino community and developing the exhibit. A Q&A session will follow with light refreshments being served.
A Creative Protest: MLK Comes to Durham Exhibit Opening
Friday, January 17th, 2020
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Join us on Friday January 17th from 6-8PM for the opening reception of our “A Creative Protest: MLK Comes to Durham” exhibit. This exhibit will chronicle the civil rights leader’s connection to Durham.
Dr. King made several visits to Durham between 1956 and 1964 and gave six speeches, including his “Creative Protest” address at White Rock Baptist Church in 1960. The exhibit will feature stories from local residents about Durham during the Civil Rights Era, their relationships with Dr. King, and reactions to his assassination.
Remarks will be provided by North Carolina State Senator Floyd McKissick, Jr. and Durham Public Historian Eddie Davis. Light refreshments will be served.
Exhibits of Museum of Durham History
Nuevo Espíritu de Durham
Dates: September 13, 2019- January 5, 2020
Co-curated by local award-winning documentary filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman, Nuevo Espíritu de Durham: New Spirit of Durham examines the history of Durham’s growing Latino community through personal stories and images. This fully bilingual exhibit provides a snapshot of the diverse Latino community in Durham, which includes people coming from 33 countries, speaking hundreds of languages, and represent many ethnicities.
Our Bull City: Exhibits from the Community
Through September 3rd, 2019
Community curators will mount a series of three- to six-week-long pop-up exhibits, starting with “Made in Durham”, a look at the family-owned Durham Brazing and Welding, whose work is still found throughout the Triangle in artifacts such as the Victory Bell for Duke Football vs. North Carolina Tar Heels.
Kid-focused series. Starts off with “A is for Ann Atwater” to commemorate the new film The Best of Enemies. The series will be featured in the Museum’s redesigned Kids Area. New Durham themed toys and costumes will be added as well as a green screen photo booth with historic images of Durham. Kids of all ages and the young at heart are welcome!
Durham Beginnings | 1865-1885
An exhibit featuring five dramatic but little-known personal stories evoking the spirit of Durham’s formative years. Learn the “coming to Durham” stories of Eliza Bennet Duke, Richard Fitzgerald, Abner Jordan, John Green, and Margaret Faucette.
Kids Area: Step Onto the Porch
Kids are invited to “Step Onto the Porch” and learn about people from Durham’s past. A trunk of dress-up clothes will allow them to dress like their Durham hero, a train set echoes Durham’s railroad history, and coloring sheets show people and places from Durham’s past.
Explore Durham Through Time
Visitors can use a touchscreen to explore key moments in Durham’s past. A post-it note wall allows viewers to tell us what moments from Durham’s past are most important to them. They may see their feedback incorporated later with a photo and caption.
Look Beyond the Windows
Take in the museum’s almost-360-degree view of downtown and consider the changes over time. To begin, we’ll focus on the Hill Building, Arts Council (formerly City Hall and Central High School), Liggett and Myers buildings, and NC Mutual tower.
Visitors can step into the Story Room to record a personal memory about Durham’s past. They can also explore memories others have shared or browse through old, local yearbooks. Stories recorded in the Story Room will be archived by the Durham County Library.