|South Carolina Currency, Part of the Museum's Collection|
It was during a visit to Raleigh in the spring of 1914, that the idea for a college museum took root at the State Normal. On the invitation of Colonel Olds, Dr. Jackson’s North Carolina History class visited the Hall of History, and the students’ interest in their state was ignited! Recognizing the young women’s enthusiasm for his collection, Olds donated a large and valuable assortment of Native American artifacts, to help the college start its museum.
|Colonel Frederick Augustus Olds|
Originally, one of the classrooms in the Administration Building (now the Foust Building) was designated for the museum. Exhibit cases were filled with local artifacts and heirlooms, and the walls were lined with maps and historic pictures. Depending primarily on gifts from students, faculty, and local collectors, the little museum displayed Confederate uniforms and period clothing, old guns and other “relics of war,” furniture, land records, diaries, and correspondence. Students described the museum's contents as ranging “from a tuning fork to the pearls off of Sir Walter Raleigh’s coat!”
The collection eventually grew to over 1,000 items, including reproductions of historic documents, which could be handled by the students in the course of their studies. One such document was a copy of a 1713 treatise between the state of North Carolina and the Tuscarora Native Americans, assuring the official recognition of their tribe. Another treasure was a copy of a 1788 “challenge to a duel” signed by President Andrew Jackson, which resulted from a dispute over a court case. Other prized possessions included Babylonian votive tablets, which had decipherable writing dated to 2350 BCE. These tablets were donated by noted archaeologist, Dr. Holt after lecturing at the college. The collection also boasted Continental and Revolutionary currency, as well as a large collection of Confederate notes. Indian arrowheads were also in abundance.
|Land Document, Part of the Museum's Collection|
The museum was still accumulating material in the 1930s, and it had moved its location to the Carnegie Library (now the Forney Building).Through the decades, the museum was to add to its collection, including the school’s “Service Flag,” with stars representing the students’ family members who had enlisted in World War I, local quilts and textiles, and a small science-based collection. When students from the Science Department traveled to Beaufort, North Carolina, to do research on marine life, the class contributed items that they had collected on the shore to the museum.
|Dr. Walter Clinton Jackson, 1948|
*The Hall of History became the North Carolina History Museum in 1965.