How Objects Illuminate History: Civil Rights in an Uncivil Time

The National Park Service is best known for preserving special places, and behind the scenes, that means preserving the objects that embody their stories: a wealth of archeological artifacts, archival documents, natural specimens, and historic collections from homes, battlefields, and memorials. The National Capital Region’s Museum Resource Center cares for over 5 million such objects that are not currently on display in parks in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Bringing objects from different parks together is a way to weave many perspectives into a single, connected story.

Civil Rights
This online exhibit is the first in a series focused on an important part of the American story – the struggle for Civil Rights – within the context of our Washington, D.C., area park collections. In part one, we examine objects from the era of the American Civil War and the stories they tell about the momentous issues of the period: slavery and resistance, emancipation, and freedom.

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Last updated: January 26, 2017