See Our Exhibits

Current Exhibits

Our Story: Life in the Albemarle

The Albemarle is a unique place—half land, half water. Our ever changing relationship with the water has defined our way of life. Water is both a highway and a barrier, a source of livelihood and inspiration. The story of this place is Our Story, a tale of how our communities have adapted to challenges and opportunities of our unusual home. This is a long-term exhibit with no closing date.

 

50 Years of Museum History

MOA celebrates its 50th birthday in 2017 with a special exhibit highlighting objects from our collection.

North Carolina Shad Boat

The Official State Historic Boat of North Carolina was first built in the early 1880s by George Washington Creef of Roanoke Island. The shad boat on display here at MOA was built in 1904 by renowned boat builder and decoy carver, Alvirah Wright. This is a long-term exhibit with no closing date.

 

Tar Heels in the Trenches: The Albemarle and the Great War

The Museum of the Albemarle announces the opening of its newest exhibit, Tar Heels in the Trenches: The Albemarle and the Great War. The First World War encompassed 6 continents and 65 million people. This exhibit examines the role that North Carolina’s Albemarle Region played in that great war. Time and space prevent the telling of every story, but the experiences and items of the people represented in this exhibit typify those of the thousands of North Carolinians in the “war to end all wars.” This exhibit closes on December 31, 2018.

 

Documenting the Past: Proprietary Carolina

In conjunction with the 350th anniversary of Albemarle County and its constituent precincts, the Division of Archives and History, East Carolina University, and the Museum of the Albemarle present three important documents from North Carolina’s Proprietary Period (1663-1729).

  • Peter Carteret’s 1668 commission as a lieutenant colonel in the colonial militia, containing the first ever written mention of Pasquotank County.
  • Carteret’s 1674 report to the Lords Proprietors about “a violent haricane,” the first written description of a land-falling hurricane in North Carolina.
  • Johann Baptist Homann’s 1714 map of the British North America colonies, including North Carolina.

The Museum of the Albemarle will host these documents from March 7th to May 31st.

Homann map is courtesy of Special Collections, Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.

Peter Carteret Papers are courtesy of State Archives of North Carolina.

 

North Carolina Women Making History

North Carolina Women Making History traces the lives of ordinary women from 1585 to the mid-1990s. Throughout time, women have traditionally held private roles in our society including caring for the sick, raising families, maintaining households and educating children. Over the years a woman’s role extended beyond the home to include roles in politics, economics, and even the military. In the exhibit, visitors will catch a glimpse into the lives of women such as Elizabeth Horniblow (tavern operator in Edenton, NC), Harriet Jacobs (former slave and author also from Edenton), Charlotte Hawkins Brown (who opened the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, NC), and Lillian Exum Clement (first woman elected to the NC General Assembly). Photographs on the exhibit panels reflect young girls working in textile mills, students at Elizabeth City State Colored Normal School, female nurses during World War II, women protesting the use of nuclear power, and a Cherokee woman in her mountain home.  Produced by the North Carolina Museum of History as a component of the North Carolina Women’s History Project in the 1990s, the exhibit will be displayed March 9th to June 30th. After that time, the exhibit will be available for travel to regional institutions.

Charlotte Hawkins Brown courtesy of State Archives of North Carolina. 

Penelope Barker courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of History.

 

Athletic Directors: Leading the Way

Why do we do what we do, the way we do it? In North Carolina, there are 203,851 reasons why. That’s the number of student-athletes (full-time students, part-time athletes) who participated in our education-based athletic programs last year in our high schools.  The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, in partnership with the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA), will soon open a display in recognition of the athletic directors who have led and inspired coaches and student-athletes since 1970. Why do we do what we do, the way we do it? In North Carolina, there are 203,851 reasons why. That’s the number of student-athletes (full-time students, part-time athletes) who participated in our education-based athletic programs last year in our high schools.  The North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, in partnership with the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association (NCADA), will soon open a display in recognition of the athletic directors who have led and inspired coaches and student-athletes since 1970.

The NCADA display will be available on the 2nd floor of the museum from April 9 – April 28th. The display will celebrate the NCADA and the difference Athletic Administrators (AD’s) make in the lives of those they serve.  Bobby Guthrie, Associate Executive Director of the N.C. Sports Hall of Fame, has said, “Athletic directors are the behind-the-scenes personnel that make it happen in the world of interscholastic athletics. Determining eligibility, safety of student-athletes, field maintenance, and community involvement are just a few of the daily responsibilities of an athletic director. We are delighted to recognize the history, achievements, and importance of interscholastic athletic directors at the North Carolina Museum of History.”

This display will focus on 5 areas: 

  • The mission of the NCADA: to take a leadership role in athletic issues to enhance the educational process for student-athletes and coaches.
  • The planning, preparation, implementation, and administration of athletic contests (e.g., eligibility, field preparation, officials, game workers, announcers, security, supervision, promotions, game administration, media release, etc.).
  • Education in the field of athletic administration and recognition of “The Best of the Best” in North Carolina and the nation.
  • The value of education-based interscholastic athletics: leadership development, communication skills, accountability, modeling appropriate behavior, respect, integrity, etc.
  • Honoring the accomplishments of Elizabeth City’s Jerry McGee, NCADA Executive Director from 1991 until 2015.  Jerry is a member of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame, the National Federation High School Hall of Fame, the National Interscholastic Administrators Association Hall of Fame and the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame.

Photo of Mike & Jerry McGee courtesy of Jerry McGee.

 

North Carolina: History on Two Wheels

The first bicycles were of wooden construction, from their frame to their wheels and later moved from wooden to iron elements. Bicycles evolved during the late 19th century and, by 1900, elements of modern bicycles had emerged. In the early 1900s, upgrades to bicycles during the “Safety Era” made them more sturdy, safe, and reliable modes of transportation with improvements to the seats, brakes, tires, and wheel spokes. Despite the rise of other transportation options, the bicycle has stood the test of time as the most healthy and reliable mode of travel, second only to walking.

Bicycles represented an enjoyable outlet for women, even as conservatives feared the “sinful wheel” would lead to female corruption because women sought to wear split skirts or pants for safety. Women pushed past the controversy to enjoy bicycles in all types and sizes, even joining clubs and participating in contests.

Beginning April 12, 2018 you can view this banner exhibit in addition to bicycles and tricycles from our collection located in the lobby of the museum. The exhibit is on loan from NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and will be on display until June 30th.