Museum of Durham History, at 500 W. Main Street between Downtown Durham and Brightleaf Square, is free to visit, and reopened to the public on April 16th, 2021.
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.
Read on learn about the newest exhibit, More Than Just a Game: The NCCU vs. NC A&T Football Rivalry, as well as the other exhibits at the museum.
Events with Museum of Durham History
Opening of More Than Just a Game: The NCCU vs. NC A&T Football Rivalry
Friday, October 15th, 2021
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
This exhibit will explore the annual fall matchup on the gridiron between North Carolina Central University (NCCU) in Durham, NC, and North Carolina A&T State University (A&T) in Greensboro, NC, one of the biggest rivalries in HBCU (Historically Black College and University) sports. This year marks the ninety second meeting between the two teams. Stop by for live music, tailgating refreshments, and special guest speakers including Se. Mickey Michaux (ret.) and community curators Dr. Charles Johnson (NCCU) & Dr. Arwin Smallwood (A&T). The health and safety of visitors is the Museum of Durham History’s top priority and we are following all local mandates. All attendees will be required to wear masks.
Exhibits at Museum of Durham History
From Tobacco Market to Innovation Hub: Durham’s Central Park
This exhibit will explore the change of the Central Park neighborhood’s landscape from rural farmland to reclaimed community space. Today, the area referred to as the “Central Park Neighborhood” and the “Innovation District” boasts a thriving retail and nightlife scene as well as luxury residential buildings and renowned corporations.
Over the last 150 years, the neighborhood has been a historical microcosm of the rise and fall of tobacco in Durham and the city’s modernization with industry and innovation. The stories of long-time family business owners, newcomers, and community leaders will highlight how these changes affected the tight-knit neighborhood throughout the 20th century and how they worked together to control how spaces have been revitalized and beneficial to residents.
Votes for Suffrage: 100 Years of Women inn Durham Politics
2020 marked the centennial of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, giving women in the United States the right to vote. This exhibit explores the legacy of the amendment and how women’s political participation has helped shape Durham. Though the suffrage movement sought equality for women and the 19th Amendment was meant to enforce it, race and class continued to be barriers to enfranchisement for many of Durham’s female citizens throughout the last century. The exhibit will examine those challenges and highlight the stories of the women who fought to positively change Durham. From key ‘firsts’ in office like Durham’s first female judge, to influencing social and environmental policy, and to confronting generations of racial inequalities while supporting a revitalized community.
Kids’ Area Featuring Durham A-Z
“Durham A-Z” is returning to MoDH as a kid-focused series! Our latest installment “L is for Lemur” explores the history and mission of the Duke Lemur Center. The series will be featured in the Museum’s redesigned Kids Area. New Durham themed toys and costumes are available 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.
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.