Please note, some timed entry slots are selling out, particularly weekends. Get your reservations in early to secure your spot!

At The Durham Museum, exhibits are only part of our story. There is a lot of work done behind the scenes to research items on display and keep the objects in our collection in good shape. As our collections team does this work, they often come across interesting objects that are not on public display. Every few weeks one of the collection team members will post about some of these artifacts and their stories, providing insight into how the museum preserves them for future generations. We hope you will find a new appreciation for the museum as a place to experience engaging exhibits and events, but also as a repository of some pretty neat artifacts that help researchers, interns and the public learn about history!


Spotlight on the Collection

Lithograph Stone

During our IMLS grant work, our Collection Facilitator, Haiden Nelson, shares an object from our collection that traces back through Midwest history and finds a mystery yet to be solved. ____________________________________________________________ Here is a curious object! It’s small and heavy, cream-colored, with two smooth, flat sides. It is a lithograph stone! These limestone blocks were commonly used pre-WWI to print stationery… Continue Reading Lithograph Stone

Sewing Machines

During our IMLS grant work, our Collection Facilitator, Libby Rea, gathered sewing machines from our collection and chronicled the change in design through the early years of sewing machines. ____________________________________________________________ While personal sewing machines didn’t gain popularity until the second half of the 19th century, there were a few different brands and styles to choose from through the years. Two… Continue Reading Sewing Machines

Dr. John E. Summers

This month Becky is stepping out of the spotlight to share the work of Kristen Rowley, our Collection Technician, which features a glimpse into the life of Dr. John E. Summers Read below as Kristen shares about what she found out about the doctor and some of his tools. ____________________________________________________________ Our Collection is home to a large number of medical… Continue Reading Dr. John E. Summers

Boye Needle Case

During our IMLS grant work, our Collection Facilitator, Haiden Nelson, came across a Boye Needle Case. Read below as Haiden shares about what she found out about this item. ____________________________________________________________ The Boye Brand was founded in early 1900’s Chicago. James H. Boye, the namesake, designed his commodity cabinet in 1906 and found his success by improving upon earlier needle product… Continue Reading Boye Needle Case

1878 Map of Douglas & Sarpy Counties, Neb.

During our IMLS grant work, our Collection Facilitator, Haiden Nelson, came across a map of Douglas and Sarpy Counties, Nebraska from 1878. Read below as Haiden shares about what she found out about these items. ____________________________________________________________ This 1878 map of Douglas and Sarpy counties is an exciting object here in object storage. It has survived the past 140 years thanks… Continue Reading 1878 Map of Douglas & Sarpy Counties, Neb.

Mary Munchhoff

This month Becky is stepping out of the spotlight to share the work of Kristen Rowley, our Collection Technician. Read below as Kristen shares about the career of singer Mary Munchhoff. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Mary Munchhoff was a successful singer in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. She was trained in Germany and toured across Europe, as well as parts of… Continue Reading Mary Munchhoff

Danish-Language Newspapers

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Danish-language newspapers that share news of the Danish Lutheran community! These were most likely published by the Danish Lutheran Publishing House* in Blair, Nebraska (1893-1960). It was known as the Lutheran Publishing house from 1943 until its closing. Our collection now holds nine copies of Luthersk Ugeblad from 1926 (or Lutheran Magazinzes/Lutheran Weekly Paper). The tagline… Continue Reading Danish-Language Newspapers

Whip It

This month Becky is stepping out of the spotlight to share the work of Kristen Rowley, our Collection Technician, which features one very “sweet” artifact. Read below as Kristen shares about what she found out about this item. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In preparation for our last Museum Insider tour, the various parts of a Whirla Whip machine in our collection were reunited after several… Continue Reading Whip It

Paper Dolls

During our IMLS grant work, our Collection Facilitator, Haiden Nelson, came across a great collection of paper dolls. Read below as Haiden shares about what she found out about these items. ____________________________________________________________ Paper dolls have been produced as children’s toys since the early 19th century. Some paper dolls were printed as advertisements, enticing children or their parents to buy products.… Continue Reading Paper Dolls