Online Exhibits 


The Path to Leadership: The Next Chapter

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted American women the right to vote, Part Two of “The Path to Leadership,” our online exhibit delving into the history of Montgomery County women in politics, is now live! Explore “The Next Chapter” to learn about how the passage of the 19th Amendment changed the political landscape, both nationally and locally. Meet the female civic and political leaders in the county who worked to enact change in our community from within. And if you haven’t seen Part One, which covers the decades leading up to suffrage, you can view it here.

Opened August 18, 2020
Curated by Claire McDonald 


The 1950s Housing Boom in Montgomery County


Launched by our Center for Suburban Studies, this new exhibit explores factors fueling the housing boom that altered the face of the County, as well as the nation, during this pivotal decade. The exhibit provides a comprehensive overview of the 1950s architecture, neighborhoods, and builders accompanied by dozens of images and photographs. Whether you are motivated by nostalgia or are just curious about the County’s built environment, you will enjoy perusing this exhibit at your leisure.

Opened May 11, 2020
Curated by the Center for Suburban Studies


The Path to Leadership: Montgomery County Women, Women’s Clubs, and Suffrage


This is the first of a two-part online exhibition about the paths Montgomery County women forged to become active participants and leaders in county politics. Part One explores women’s suffrage in the county and its relationship to the growing network of women’s clubs from the late nineteenth century through the early 1930s. It highlights the lives of three local women — Lavinia Margaret Engle, Lucy Wright Trundle, and Jessie Ross Thomson — who worked for women’s rights in various ways.

Part Two, which will be released later this spring, will pick up where this first exhibition ends and address the path to politics post-1930s. 

Opened March 3, 2020
Curated by Claire McDonald; assisted by Sarah Hedlund 


Montgomery County, 1900-1930: Through the Lens of Lewis Reed


At the turn of the last century, photographer and Montgomery County native Lewis Reed took excursions all over the state of Maryland on his motorcycle with his camera, photographing landscapes, monuments, historical places, people, and anything else that caught his attention. The collection is a remarkable slice of history in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, capturing scenes from all facets of rural Montgomery County life.

Opened January 7, 2020
Curated by Jeanne Gartner and Sarah Hedlund



Scotland Photo Gallery, 1966-1970


This photo gallery is comprised of images from the community of Scotland in the late 1960s, at that time an all-African-American community of people  that underwent a years-long process of reclaiming their land and rebuilding their infrastructure. The images were digitized from a collection of negatives within a donation of records kept by Joyce Siegel, who had worked with the Scotland community during this time period. Joyce’s husband Alan was an avid amateur photographer, and took hundreds of photos of the events happening in Scotland between 1966 and 1970, focusing on the community members and their neighborhood.


Opened October 15, 2019
Curated by Sarah Hedlund

75 Objects + 75 Stories


In celebration of its 75th anniversary in 2019, Montgomery History is bringing long overdue attention to its extraordinary collection of artifacts to help tell the story of Montgomery County’s storied past. The resulting online exhibition, 75 Objects + 75 Stories, highlights some of the most iconic, treasured, and idiosyncratic objects from the collection.

Through the end of September 2019, 11 select objects from the exhibit will be on display at the Rockville Memorial Library — don’t miss your chance to see objects like a 1984 Metro pennant celebrating the addition of the county’s four westernmost stations to the Red line, or an 1894 prescription book including prescriptions written by county physicians Dr. Edward Stonestreet and Dr. Otis Linthicum. 


Opened June 29, 2019
Curated by Elizabeth Lay, William Allman, and Lee Morgan

History Between the Pages: The Family Bible in Genealogy Research


Explore the story of the family Bible in America, and how families used their beloved Bibles to share their own stories through the generations. Our exhibition includes six chapters, each featuring photographs and excerpts from Montgomery History’s fabulous Bibles collection.


Opened November 5, 2018
Curated by Claire McDonald 






The Suburbanization of Montgomery County, 1950-1960


**Updated May 2020**
Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies of Montgomery History presents this online exhibition, originally launched in conjunction with “BOOM: the 1950s in Montgomery County,” a 2018 program of exhibits and events organized by Montgomery History, exploring how Montgomery County grew as a suburban jurisdiction in the 1950s. 


Opened April 27, 2018
Curated by the Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies



“The Decree Had Been Handed Down”: The Experience of Public School Desegregation in Montgomery County


**Updated April 2020**
To tell the story of the desegregation ruling, and the subsequent efforts to integrate the public schools in Montgomery County, we turn to five black women who lived that experience: Margaret Taylor Jones, Geneva Mason, Doris Hackey, Edith Throckmorton, and Nina Honemond Clarke. These women were educators, community leaders, and pioneers, with combined decades of experience administering and teaching in the segregated school system, followed by the seven years of difficult transition to an integrated school system. The sixth woman, Rose Kramer, was a member of the Montgomery County School Board: a strong advocate for the integration of schools and a white Jewish woman born to immigrant parents. Using sound clips from their oral history interviews, along with photographs, and other historical documentation from Montgomery History’s archives and special collections. this exhibit relates the experience of the desegregation process in Montgomery County–before, during, and after–
in their words


Originally opened October 17, 2017; revised and published April, 2020.
Curated by Sarah Hedlund

The Effects of Brown vs. The Board of Education in Montgomery County


For nearly a century, schools for black students in Montgomery County (and indeed most of the country) were denied the benefits provided to their entirely separate, but supposedly “equal,” white counterparts.  In facilities, supplies, monetary support, wages, term length, and academic standards, black schools lagged far behind, despite the stringent efforts of their communities to achieve equal educational rights. 

In 1954, the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas changed the face of MCPS forever.  Segregated public schools were now illegal, and every school system in the country was to proceed with integration at “deliberate speed.”  After much investigation and discussion, the Board of Education began a gradual process of integration, beginning with a few schools in September of 1955. Only two schools, one up-county and one down-county, registered any official protest.  For the most part, integration happened smoothly, if slowly, and the school system was declared fully integrated in 1961.

Montgomery County’s population continued to grow and change, however, and issues of integration and diversity have remained central to our school system ever since.  A number of solutions have been implemented, such as the Magnet programs, with varying degrees of success.  The effects of Brown vs. the Board of Ed are still being felt today, fifty years later.


A version of this exhibit was displayed at the Beall-Dawson House between Aug. 17, 2004 and Mar. 6, 2005.
Curated by Joanna Church