FROM THE VAULT

Artifacts and Art Never Seen Before by the Public

From the Vault Civil Rights Museum

The National Civil Rights Museum’s Interpretation, Collections and Education Department presents From the Vault, a blog to give visitors a peek into the museum’s collection of artifacts.  The Museum’s vault contains a myriad of objects, documents, paintings, and other items that the museum has acquired over the years. Some of the pieces in our collection have been purchased for the purposes of an exhibit, others are loans from another institution, and many are donations by everyday people.  Only a fraction of our total holdings are on display at any one time, and From the Vault will highlight rarely viewed items.

No matter how we acquire an artifact in collections, it is important to us as an institution to know the story behind it.  Who did it belong to?  What was it used for? Where was it made? How did it find its way to the National Civil Rights Museum? And perhaps most importantly, how will we be able to use this item to tell the story of the civil rights struggle?  The museum has sought to collect a wide-ranging group of artifacts to preserve the diverse history of the struggle for African-American Civil Rights.

Through this blog, we hope to give our supporters an inside look at the museum and its workings, and to encourage patrons to think about donating their historical pieces to our ever expanding collection.  Also, if you have items that you are considering to donate, please contact Schillica Howard, Collections Manager & Registrar at the National Civil Rights Museum.

John Lewis: Freedom Rider

In a 1961 strategy meeting, members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) gather in Alabama to discuss their next moves. Key among them is a young activist named John Lewis, a member of SNCC who had been attacked by the Ku Klux Klan in Rock Hill, South Carolina mere days before this photograph. The Freedom Rides were a critical moment in Lewis’ career, but they were not his first or last demonstration during the Civil Rights... Read More
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