There has been a recent surge in interest in ethnic cultural history.

“Thanks to our heritage as a sanctuary for seekers, strivers, refugees, realists and dreamers from the world over, America presents an amazing range of faces – and an array of fascinating places to see and celebrate them.”

USA Weekend

African-American History Museums

The significance of African-American history has been realized through a host of museums that have opened across America during the past decade. The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center (Cincinnati, OH;, the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History and Culture (Baltimore, MD;, and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Atlanta, GA; are among major museum openings.


The following are other important African-American history and cultural museums:

• African American Historical Museum and Cultural Center of Iowa (Cedar Rapids,


• African American Museum (Cleveland, OH;

• bloger T. Washington National Monument (Hardy, VA;

• California African American Museum (Los Angeles, CA;

• Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History (Detroit, MI;

• Chattanooga African American Museum (Chattanooga, TN;

• DuSable Museum of African-American History (Chicago, IL;

• International Civil Rights Center & Museum (Greensboro, NC;

• Museum of African American History (Boston, MA;

• National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN; www.civilrightsmuseum .org)

• River Road African American Museum (Donaldsonville, LA;

• The African American Museum in Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA;

• The African American Museum of the Arts (DeLand, FL;

• The Harriet Tubman Home (Auburn, NY,

• Tubman African American Museum (Macon, GA;

In total, there are more than 200 African-American museums in the U.S. according to the Association of African American Museums (, and several projects are in the works.

“A second generation of bigger, bolder museums is about to emerge. Jackson [Mississippi Civil Rights Museum] and Charleston [International African American Museum] have projects in the works. Coupled with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, they represent nearly $750 million worth of plans.”

The New York Times

Immigration History Museums

Part of the Statute of Liberty, The Ellis Island Immigration Museum ( island.asp) opened to the public in 1990 and attracts over 3 million visitors each year. The museum is located in the Main Building of the former immigration station complex and tells the moving tales of the 12 million immigrants who entered America through the golden door of Ellis Island. The American Family Immigration History Center, which opened at Ellis Island in 2001, provides

visitors with computer access, multimedia technology, printed materials, and professional assistance with exploring immigration history, family documentation, and genealogical research. Boats run from Battery Park to Ellis Island in New York Harbor. The following are other museums that focus on immigrant history:

• Museum of Danish America (Elk Horn, IA;

• Pacific Coast Immigration Museum (Oakland, CA;

• Tenement Museum (New York, NY;

Jewish Museums

There are more than 80 Jewish museums in the United States. Among these, three are located in New York City, as follows:

• Jewish Children’s Museum (

• Museum of Jewish Heritage (

• The Jewish Museum (

“New York City has the largest concentration of Jews in the world outside of Israel at 1.4 million. The stories of European Jews who arrived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are relatively well-known and easy to find in places like the Lower East Side.”

USA Today

The following are some of the larger Jewish museums elsewhere in the U.S.:

• Contemporary Jewish Museum (San Francisco, CA;

• National Museum of American Jewish History (Philadelphia, PA;

• Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum (Miami, FL;

• Skirball Cultural Center (Los Angeles, CA;

• The Jewish Museum of Maryland (Baltimore, MD;

• William Breman Jewish Heritage & Holocaust Museum (Atlanta, GA;

The National Museum of the American Indian (, part of the Smithsonian Institution, opened in 2004 in Washington, D.C. The museum draws

1.6 million visitors each year.

The following are other Native-American museums:

• Cherokee Heritage Center (Tahlequah, OK;

• Frisco Native American Museum and Natural History Center (Hatteras Island, NC;

• Iroquois Indian Museum (Howe’s Cave, NY;

• Makah Cultural and Research Center (Neah Bay, WA;

• Mid-America All-Indian Center Museum (Witchita, KS;

• Pipestone Museum (Pipestone, MN;

• Museum of Indian Culture (Allentown, PA;

• Museum of Native American History (Bentonville, AR;

• Museum of The American Indian (Novato, CA;

• Museum of the Cherokee Indian (Cherokee, NC;

• Powhatan Renape Nation’s American Indian Heritage Museum (Rancocas, NJ;

• The Sequoyah Birthplace Museum (Vonore, TN;

• Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian (Santa Fe, NM;

113.1 Overview

There are over 7,000 history museums in the United States. Each state has a history museum, and most cities and towns have some type of museum that recognizes local history.

The following are online directories of history museums:


• to historical museums.htm



Popular History Museums

The most-visited U.S. history museums are as follows:

• National Museum of American History (Washington, DC;

• Independence National Historical Park (Philadelphia, PA;

• Ground Zero Museum (New York, NY;

• Ellis Island Immigration Museum (New York, NY;

• United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (Washington, DC;

• National Portrait Gallery (Washington, DC;

The following are other prominent history museums:


• Alaska State Museum (Juneau;

• Anchorage Museum (Anchorage;


• Arizona Historical Society (Tucson; Arkansas

• Historic Arkansas Museum (Little Rock;


• Riverside Municipal Museum (Riverside;

• Santa Barbara Historical Museum (Santa Barbara;

• The California Museum (Sacramento;


• Colorado Historical Society (Denver;

• Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum (Colorado Springs;

• Western Museum of Mining and Industry (Colorado Springs;


• Connecticut River Museum (Essex Village;

• Mattatuck Museum Arts & History Center (Waterbury;

• Mystic Seaport Museum (Mystic;


• Mel Fisher Maritime Heritage Society (Key West;

• Museum of Florida History (Tallahassee;


• Atlanta History Center (Atlanta;


• Pearl Harbor Historic Sites (Honolulu;


• Idaho State Historical Museum (Boise; museum)


• Chicago Historical Society (Chicago;


• Conner Prairie Interactive History Park (Fishers;

• Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites (Indianapolis;


• National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium (Dubuque; www.rivermuseum .com)

• Putnam Museum (Davenport;

• Sanford Museum & Planetarium (Cherokee; www.sanfordmuseum .org)

• Sioux City Public Museum (Sioux City;


• Kansas Museum of History (Topeka;


• Kentucky Historical Society (Frankfort;


• Louisiana’s Old State Capitol (Baton Rouge;

• Louisiana State Museum (New Orleans;

• The National WWII Museum (New Orleans; www.nationalww2museum .org) Maine

Maine State Museum (Augusta;

• Penobscot Marine Museum (Searsport;


• Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (St. Michaels;

• Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore;


• American Textile History Museum (Lowell;

• Connecticut Valley Historical Museum (Springfield; museums/ct valley history/)

• National Heritage Museum (Lexington;

• New Bedford Whaling Museum (New Bedford;

• Pilgrim Hall Museum (Plymouth;

• Whaling Museum (Nantucket;


• City Museum (St. Louis;

• Missouri History Museum (St. Louis;


• Historical Museum at Fort Missoula (Missoula;

• Montana Historical Society Museum (Helena;

• Museum of the Rockies (Bozeman;

• Western Heritage Center (Billings;


• Museum of Nebraska History (Lincoln;


• Nevada State Museum (Las Vegas; New Hampshire

• Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site (Cornish;

• New Hampshire Historical Society (Concord;

New Mexico

• Maxwell Museum of Anthropology (Albuquerque;

• Silver City Museum (Silver City;

New York

• Adirondack Museum (Blue Mountain Lake;

• Corning Museum of Glass (Corning;

• Hudson River Museum (Yonkers;

• National September 11 Memorial & Museum (New York;

• Rye Historical Society Museum (Harrison;

• Shaker Museum (Chatham;

• The Buffalo History Museum (Buffalo;

• The Farmers’ Museum (Cooperstown;

North Carolina

• North Carolina Maritime Museum (Beaufort;

• North Carolina Museum of History (Raleigh;

North Dakota

• North Dakota Heritage Center (Bismarck; Ohio

• Ohio Historical Center (Columbus;


• Museum of the Great Plains (Lawton;

• National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum (Oklahoma City;


• Columbia River Maritime Museum (Astoria;

• The Oregon Historical Society (Portland;


• Drake Well Museum (Titusville;

• Johnstown Flood Museum (Johnstown;

• Museum of Indian Culture (Salisbury;

• Senator John Heinz History Center (Pittsburgh;

• The Hershey Story: The Museum on Chocolate Avenue (Hershey;

• The State Museum of Pennsylvania (Harrisburg;

• University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Philadelphia;

Rhode Island

• Slater Mill Historic Site (Pawtucket;

• The Rhode Island Historical Society (Providence;

South Carolina

• South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum (Columbia;

• The Charleston Museum (Charleston;


• Tennessee State Museum (Nashville;


• National Museum of the Pacific War (Fredericksburg;

• Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum (Canyon;

• Texas Maritime Museum (Rockport;

• The Heritage Society (Houston;

• The Sam Houston Memorial Museum (Huntsville;

• The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza (Dallas;


• Shelburne Museum (Shelburne;

• Vermont History Museum (Montpelier;


• Fort Ward Museum (Alexandria;

• Fredericksburg Area Museum & Cultural Center (Fredericksburg;

• Frontier Culture Museum (Staunton;

• The Lyceum (Alexandria;

• The Mariners’ Museum (Newport News;

• Virginia Historical Society Museum (Richmond;

• Virginia War Museum (Newport News;


• Museum of History & Industry (Seattle;

• Washington State History Museum, Washington State Historical Society (Tacoma;

West Virginia

• Oglebay Institute (Wheeling;

• West Virginia State Museum (Charleston;


• Milwaukee Public Museum (Milwaukee;


• Buffalo Bill Center of the West (Cody;

• Wyoming State Museum (Cheyenne;

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