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Explore the Museum

Explore the Museum

Explore the Museum

What will you see during your visit to the museum? Check out our museum map and gallery descriptions below!

Permanent Exhibits:
Natural History: View otherworldly rock formations, dinosaur tracks, and a real meteorite. Gallery Highlights: Devil’s Den & Welcome Film; Dinosaur Footprints (touchable)

Native Americans: Discover the lives of local Indigenous peoples. Gallery Highlight: Native American Cooking Stone (touchable)

Life on the Frontier: Hear the gripping stories of murder, captivity, and colonial land disputes. Gallery Highlights: Mason-Dixon Line Marker; Mary Jemison Film

Revolutionary America: Take a seat in Samuel Gettys’s Tavern and eavesdrop on 18th-century conversations. Gallery Highlights: Original Animal Hide Map of Gettysburg; The Tavern Experience: Colonial Conversations (interactive)

A Growing Community: Explore local ties to Thaddeus Stevens, Francis Scott Key, and the Underground Railroad. Gallery Highlights: Francis Scott Key Document

The Civil War: Learn the stories of local soldiers and civilians who fought for freedom and the Union. Gallery Highlights: Mag Palm’s Rocking Chair; Gettysburg Landscape Mural

The War Comes Home: Discover how ordinary families endured the Civil War’s largest battle.  Gallery Highlights: John Burns’s Rifle; Dawn of Battle Film

Caught in the Crossfire Experience: Step inside a home trapped between the two armies and experience the horrific sights and sounds of war. 

The Aftermath: Imagine local residents’ encounters with death, disease, and destruction while viewing battle-damaged artifacts. Gallery Highlights: Battle Damage Wall (touchable); Sherfy Farm Witness Tree (touchable)

The Address: Stand in the crowd and reflect on Lincoln’s speech through the words of actual eyewitnesses. Gallery Highlights: Gettysburg Address Artifacts; Witnessing Lincoln Film 

Preservation and Progress: Experience the changing battlefield and community at the dawn of the 20th century. Gallery Highlights: Spanish Flu Gurney; Eddie Plank's Bat; Tourism Film

The Recent Past: Learn about Eisenhower and his contemporaries, who shaped the past century of Gettysburg’s history. Gallery Highlights: Eisenhower Artifacts; Presidents at Gettysburg; Lasting Legacy Film

Temporary Exhibits:
Early Photography at Gettysburg: Rare Images from the Collection of William A. Frassanito: At the time of the Civil War, photography was still an emerging technology. Nearly a century later, William A. Frassanito discovered an exciting new use for those early images. Born in New York City in 1946, Frassanito has dedicated much of his life to exploring the Battle of Gettysburg through historic photographs–an innovative approach that he calls forensic photojournalism. For this special exhibition, Frassanito has generously shared some of the rarest items from his personal collection of 19th-century Gettysburg photographs, using his unparalleled work to enlighten and engage students of the battle. This exhibit is on display in the Alexander Dobbin Special Exhibit Gallery.

Ken Burns and The Civil War: Acclaimed American documentary filmmaker Ken Burns was among the first to bring the story of Gettysburg to a modern television audience. Through his groundbreaking 1990 series The Civil War, Burns connected more than 40 million viewers with the powerful sites, sounds, and stories of our nation’s deadliest conflict. As of today, The Civil War has been awarded more than 40 major film and television honors, and remains the most-watched program ever to air on PBS. This display is located in the concourse area to the right of the museum entrance. 

Black Voices of Adams County: Black Voices is a rotating display curated by the descendants of historical figures in Adams County’s Black community. The exhibit expands upon themes featured in Gettysburg Beyond the Battle Museum, allowing community partners to continue the conversation with additional images, artifacts, and stories that highlight historic people and sites significant to Adams County’s Black heritage. This display is located in the concourse area to the right of the museum entrance. 

Eye-Witness to History: Immediately after the battle, Gettysburg residents wrote of their experiences of the battle in their letters and diaries. In the weeks, months, and years afterward, many others had their experiences related in newspapers.  A few even published small books or booklets. Naturally, the Adams County Historical Society has become the repository for these accounts. Here are a sampling of civilian accounts in their original form, gathered together in one place for the first time. This display is located in the concourse area to the right of the museum entrance. 

© 2024 Adams County Historical Society

Any individual who financially qualifies, based upon level of income, may be granted free admission to the museum. The determination will be made by museum staff based upon that individual’s application for free admission.