The Bradford County Historical Society (BCHS) opened for the 2018 season the first week of May with seven complete display cases changed, two entire rooms changed, and the large lumbering exhibit completely redesigned to include objects from many different industries or businesses in Bradford County.
Historical Society Manager and Curator, Matthew Carl, has worked for the past few years to substantially change the original exhibits that were built when BCHS first moved to 109 Pine St.
Out of 25 exhibit rooms in the museum, 13 have been substantially or entirely changed so far. This year alone, over 300 new items were brought out of storage and placed on display while other items that have been on display for years have gone into storage.
“That’s how a museum is supposed operate,” said Carl. “Items being rotated in and out so that visitors have a new experience and learn new things each time they’re here.”
Over the past ten years, there have been new items on display every year, but only within the last two or three years has Carl finally been able to dedicate time to a significant overhaul of the museum. While a handful of items will always be on display due to their importance, the majority of pieces can be changed out every so often.
“The museum is a living history book that tells the stories of Bradford County people as a whole,” said Carl.
Since Bradford County is the second largest county in terms of land area in Pennsylvania, the Bradford County Historical Society has a challenging job telling all of the stories, which is what makes regularly changing exhibits so important. As each year passes, new exhibits come and go and they bring new stories to light.
In addition to all the changes made this year, the World War I exhibit is still available during the ongoing centennial anniversary of the war. The award-winning book that accompanies the exhibit is still on sale in the museum Gift Shop.
A new season also brings new programming and this year’s Friday Night at the Museum series is sponsored by the United Way of Bradford County, Chief Oil & Gas, and Citizens & Northern Bank. The series features a mix of historical programs and musical performances and begins May 18, continuing on the third Friday of each month until October.
Museum and research center hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on the first Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information about the Bradford County Historical Society, visit www.bradfordhistory.com. BCHS is supported, in part, by the United Way of Bradford County.