Our Amazing Cabinet of Curiosities: Keepers of History for 150 Years

February 25, 2017 - January 7, 2018

Changing Gallery

In 1867-150 years ago-33 residents of St. Joseph County resolved to formally preserve local history. The organization they established 150 years ago was the second one of its type in Indiana. Today-as The History Museum-it has over a half million objects in its collection. From an iron lung to a voting machine, Our Cabinet of Curiosities showcases unique artifacts from the past 150 years and captures the essence of why history museums exist.


Unified for 25

September 6, 2016 - May 14, 2017

Carroll Gallery

The Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts is celebrating its 25th birthday during the 2016-17 academic year. To celebrate the anniversary, an exhibit of student and faculty works, photographs from the school's history, and a timeline of the school's highlights showcase the growth of the school and its departments in the past 25 years. The current art departments - communication studies, fine arts, integrated new media, music, and theater and dance - have each contributed their own section of the exhibit to accent the school's larger history.


The House that Rockne Built: Notre Dame Stadium

September 5, 2015 - December 31, 2017

Raclin Gallery of Notre Dame History

Knute Rockne's years as coach catapulted Notre Dame to become a nationally-known contender in football, and it was he who inspired the University to build a stadium that was on par with the team's prowess. "The House that Rockne Built" has seen seven Fighting Irish football players win the Heisman Trophy. In 1997, following year after year of sell-out football games, the first game in the newly-expanded stadium took place. More seats were added without disturbing the original stadium. It was bigger-the stadium could now hold 80,000 fans-yet it looked very much like the structure where Rockne's team played. Today, 128 years after that first game against Michigan, 97 years after Knute Rockne's team played their first game, Notre Dame Stadium continues to be sold out every football game. The magic of this brick-and-mortar structure attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.


Clothing Copshaholm

July 9, 2016 - March 5, 2017

The Oliver Mansion

Over 20 dresses, gowns, and other clothing from The History Museum's stellar historic clothing collection can be seen in the exhibit Clothing Copshaholm, on view in the 38-room Oliver Mansion July 9, 2016 through March 5, 2017. The historic garments are from the 1890s to the 1920s, reflecting the eras of Downton Abbey. Included is clothing worn by the Oliver family, who lived in the home they named Copshaholm from 1897 to 1972.


Unseen Treasures of the Oliver Mansion

Permanent Exhibit

Leighton Gallery

Items from the Oliver Mansion that aren't normally seen on a house tour are on display in this permanent exhibit.


Polished in Public, Fierce on the Field: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Permanent Exhibit

Lower Level Lobby

The women who made up the teams of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) were pioneers in sports-yet played for the love of the game. They crisscrossed the Midwest making history in ball parks-yet just wanted to drive in the scoring run. They were immortalized in the film, A League of Their Own-yet still gather at annual reunions simply to see "old friends." Their story is told in Polished in Public, Fierce on the Field, on view in the Lower Level Lobby at The History Museum.


Voyages: The History of the St. Joseph River Valley Region

Permanent Exhibit

Lower Level Gallery

Through seven rooms of life-like dioramas and interactive displays, Voyages tells the compelling stories of the people of the St. Joseph River Valley.


The Mary Jane Clark Miniature Lamp Collection

Permanent Exhibit

Upper Leighton Gallery

This display of miniature lamps features over 250 items displayed in eight mirrored cases. Intricate and unique, the lamps are composed of a variety of glass types: opalescent, milk, and satin, to name a few. Some are embossed, others feature delicate hand-painted designs or frosted patterns. The lamps are of a variety of colors, including blue, green, pink, white, and yellow. They are from The History Museum's Mary Jane Miniature Lamp Collection.