Examining Archival Institutions

The Rosa Parks Museum

The Rosa Parks Museum is one of the most famous museums in the United States that is dedicated to the civil rights movement. The Rosa Parks Museum is located at the Montgomery satellite campus of Troy University in Montgomery, Alabama. Its collection includes exhibits, information, and many artifacts collected from the Montgomery bus boycott of 1955 (Leon, 2014). The museum is named after Rosa Parks, the civil rights activist who is renowned for refusing to give up her seat for a white person sparking the Montgomery bus boycott. 

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One crucial artifact that was displayed in the museum was the actual bus, which Rosa Park refused to give up her seat. Even though this bus has since been scrapped, other identical buses are on display, and they help the current generation to understand the kind of public transport used in the past and the role Rosa Parks played in refusing to give her seat (Leon, 2014). 

Newspaper cutting showing the pictures and the stories of the boycott are on display in the museum. Many of these newspapers pages have been digitized and this is very important, as they will be better preserved. Pictures of other civil right movement icons such as Martin Luther King and Rev. Jesse Jackson are on display in the museum, and this gives an accurate picture of the roles these individuals played to ensure that blacks enjoyed their rights and liberty as experienced by people from other races.

All these reading materials and artifacts will play an essential part in preparing for my research. The digitized newspaper pages, for example, will act as a good source for the research paper. The newspapers have a wealth of information that can help one understand the topic even better. 

The National Women’s History Museum   

The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) is both a museum and an organization whose objective is to research the contribution women have made to the social, economic, cultural, and political life in the United States (Leon, 2014). The organization was founded in 1996 and at the moment, it offers educational programs, online museum, research, and scholarships for women across the country to help them learn, research, and understand the role of women in the history of the United States. 

The most common things displayed in this museum are newspaper pages detailing the achievements done by many women in the United States. There are also books and biographies of women who played an essential role in American history (Young, 2017). Women such as Mine Okubu, Florence Nightingale, and Madam C. J Walker have their biographies displayed in the museum, and they can be borrowed and read by any person who wants to know the contribution of these women (Young, 2017).

The reading material in this museum can help me in the research paper, as it would provide me with the primary source for information about the different roles played by women in shaping the United States. All the material displayed and more so the images of women fighting for women rights to vote, directly to determine whether they can abort or carry pregnancies to full terms, and the rights for equal pay shows the role women have been playing to ensure that they enjoy the same rights as men in society (Young, 2017). This has helped in changing the history of the United States by making it a country that treats its citizens equally irrespective of their gender.   


Leon, Warren. History Museums in the United States: A Critical Assessment. Chicago, Illinois, University

of Illinois Press, 2014. 

Young, Linda. Historic House Museums in the United States and the UK, Chicago, Illinois, University

of Illinois Press, 2017.

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