History Galleries

History Galleries


Now open – the new and extraordinary exhibit, “Faces Found – Boone County Portraits, 1886 -1940”.

Two years ago, volunteers in the Henry J. “Hank” Waters III Digital Imaging Lab began the work of digitizing our 500,000 piece vintage photography collection. This exhibit, running through early November, 2019, features more than 50 newly-digitized glass plate negatives that are the work of four early Columbia photographers. Some of the 50 enlarged prints are 5 feet in height. The exhibit also includes historic photography equipment and vintage textiles from our collections.

The exhibit can be found in the Walters West History Gallery at the Boone County History & Culture Center, Wednesday through Saturdays, 11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and Sundays, 12:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 3801 Ponderosa St, Columbia




The History of Fake News (and the Importance of the World’s Oldest School of Journalism)




The Boone County History & Culture Center is pleased to announce the opening of a new history exhibit in its galleries. “The History of Fake News (and the Importance of the World’s Oldest School of Journalism)” opened on Friday, July 31 in the East Walters History Gallery.

Propaganda, deceit and spin have been around since man began communicating. So, while the term, ‘Fake News’ seems to have come out of nowhere in the last couple of years, it has, in fact been around in some iteration for a very long time.

Lately, it has been used to describe a social media phenomenon, or by some to define huge swaths of media outlets in general terms. And there are those who use the phrase as a weapon – a slander or insult against sources of news that print or broadcast information that is disliked or not helpful to their cause.

This exhibit attempts to explore the long history of hoaxes, misinformation, propaganda, unverified rumor or poor reporting, and hopes to illuminate what citizens should know about the term and its use as they continue to navigate a media universe where much of the news is delivered online, without verification, and often with an agenda.

This exhibit also highlights the importance of the University of Missouri and it’s first-in-the-world Journalism School. There isn’t a more perfect community in the United States to look back at the beginnings of the Journalists Creed, how it came to be a near universal mantra in the profession of journalism, and how we can make use of it today as we try to ascertain the truthfulness of the information we receive, and the integrity of those who create and deliver that information.

The exhibit will run through early January 2019 at the Boone County History & Culture Center and is sponsored in part by The Columbia Daily Tribune. Elements of the exhibit were loaned by the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the Missouri Press Association’s Museum in Arrow Rock, Missouri.

The exhibit’s curators are Clyde Bentley, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Emeritus, University of Missouri School of Journalism and Chris Campbell. Graphic design by Suhey Campos.

Women’s Work, Women’s Wear 1890-1910



Several decades of acquiring central Missouri artifacts, textiles, photographs and personal mementos have produced permanent collections at the Boone County History & Culture Center, and whose individual items number in the tens of thousands. Many of the items in our collections date to the turn of the last century – the period between 1890 and 1910.

That late Victorian and early Edwardian era, and the period of time before America, Missouri and Boone County would find themselves identified as leaders in a more violent and closely-knitted world, was one of varying degrees of comfort or success for millions of Americans. Many Boone Countians were working in an age where many children stayed close to home, hearth and family – as did their mothers. Women, and mothers in particular, were for the most part, not yet part of the work force. It was also a time when “appearances” were quite important for the average middle-class family.

This exhibit aims to illustrate how very different the type of work women produced was then, when contrasted to the vastly expanded fields of work offered to women in 2018. The exhibit also aims to define the domestic life of a woman a little more than one hundred years ago. The exhibit utilized different themes, set in different areas of the Walters West History Gallery. They include Representing Family Success, Creating a Comfortable Home, Maintaining Appearances, Clothing Made at Home and Ready-Made and Food for the Family.

We welcome you to visit this exhibit between now and November, 2018. The Center is admission free (except for special events) and his open Wednesdays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 noon to 4:30 p.m.

The Boone County Childhood exhibit




The Boone County Childhood exhibit opened November 2nd and it is already attracting kids ages two to ninety-two!  In the exhibit, they are seeing toys as old as the 1880s and as new as the 1980s.  The exhibit’s themes include “Seen but not Heard” featuring dolls, a rocking elephant, and furniture from the 19th century.   “Make Do or Do Without” is filled with homemade toys including a barn and farm equipment made by Edward Harper when he was just 13 years of age.

Richard Sorrels loaned his wonderful antique pedal cars and an Irish Mail scooter and they are starring attractions for sure.  Visitors will find a variety of winter sports equipment on the porch in “’Wintertime Fun.”  The “Just like Mommy, Just like Daddy” segment of the exhibit shows how girls and boys were prepared for their eventual roles when they grew up.  In “As Seen on Television” visitors can see how television impacted how toys were marketing to children.

When you visit the exhibit do be sure to look up at the colorful kites hung from the 30’ tall ceiling.   They were loaned by Carolyn Spier.  The exhibit also offers a couple of tables where big and little kids can color or put together a puzzle.  ‘Grownups’ will find themselves reminiscing about their childhood and children will likely want to get behind the velvet rope and grab a toy.  The exhibit runs through September of 2017.



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