Online Exhibits 

Over the last few years, Montgomery History has developed these online exhibitions to highlight our collections as well as explore different facets of Montgomery County’s unique history in a more detailed and nuanced way. Scroll to browse through the various exhibits linked below or click on a topic of concentration to see related content.

Community Life

Segregated Education

Suburbanization during the 1950s

Women’s History

History in Our Collections

 

 

Community Life

 

 

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. This themed exhibit of some of Lewis Reed’s most compelling photographs presents 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

 


Segregated Education

 

 

“The Decree Had Been Handed Down” The Experience of Public School Desegregation in Montgomery County
To tell the story of the desegregation ruling, and the subsequent efforts to integrate the public schools in Montgomery County, we turn to six women who lived that experience directly. 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; expanded April, 2020.
Curated by Sarah Hedlund

 

 

The Effects of Brown v. Board of Education in Montgomery County  For nearly a century, schools for black students in Montgomery County and throughout the South were denied the benefits provided to their entirely separate, but supposedly “equal,” white counterparts.  In 1954, the unanimous Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka changed the face of public schools forever. For the most part, integration in Montgomery County happened smoothly, if slowly, and its school system was declared fully integrated by 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. This exhibit explores ways in which the effects of the Brown v. Board ruling 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.
Originally curated by Joanna Church

 


Suburbanization in Montgomery County

 

 

How Montgomery County Grew in the 1950s  The Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies of Montgomery History presents this online exhibition outlining the key factors unique to Montgomery County, as well as unique to the Washington, D.C. area and the nation in general, that led to the unprecedented suburban growth in our county during this ten-year period. This exhibit was originally launched in conjunction with “BOOM: the 1950s in Montgomery County,” a 2018 program of exhibits and events organized by Montgomery History.

 

Opened April 27, 2018; updated May 5, 2021
Curated by Bob Bachman, Chair, Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies

 

 

Shopping in Montgomery County in the 1950s  The Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies of Montgomery History presents this online exhibition describing the unique shopping culture that grew in Montgomery County during this ten-year period, including the development of suburban department stores and neighborhood shopping centers which eventually lead to the birth of the suburban shopping mall. This exhibit was originally launched in conjunction with “BOOM: the 1950s in Montgomery County,” a 2018 program of exhibits and events organized by Montgomery History.

 

Opened April 27, 2018
Developed and written by Sarah Hedlund; Curated by Bob Bachman, Chair, Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies

 

 

The 1950s Housing Boom in Montgomery County  The Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies of Montgomery History presents this online exhibition exploring 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; updated May, 2021
Curated by Bob Bachman, Chair, Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies

 


Women’s History

 

 

The Path to Leadership, Part I  In the first of a two-part online exhibition about the paths Montgomery County women forged to become active participants and leaders in county politics, this exhibit 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 also 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. 

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

 

 

The Path to Leadership, Part II  Part two of “The Path to Leadership,” our online exhibit delving into the history of Montgomery County women in politics,  explores how the passage of the 19th Amendment changed the political landscape, both nationally and locally, introducing some of the female civic and political leaders in the county who worked to enact change in our community from within. This exhibit was originally launched in honor of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which granted American women the right to vote.

Opened August 18, 2020
Curated by Claire McDonald 

 

“The Decree Had Been Handed Down” The Experience of Public School Desegregation in Montgomery County
To tell the story of the desegregation ruling, and the subsequent efforts to integrate the public schools in Montgomery County, we turn to six women who lived that experience directly. 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; expanded April, 2020.
Curated by Sarah Hedlund

 


History in Our Collections

 

 

75 Objects + 75 Stories  In celebration of its 75th anniversary in 2019, Montgomery History brought 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.

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

 

 

 

 

History Between the Pages: The Family Bible in Genealogical 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. This exhibit includes six chapters, each featuring photographs and excerpts from Montgomery History’s unique Family Bibles collection.

 

Opened November 5, 2018
Curated by Claire McDonald