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Watts Museum’s Traveling Exhibits Program takes history on the road

Bramwell Train Depot

The Bramwell Train Depot.

With the help of a grant from the West Virginia Humanities Council, West Virginia University’s Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum has launched a statewide traveling exhibits program. The program will enable the Watts Museum to circulate high-quality and informative exhibits and educational resources to various museums, libraries, historical societies and similar institutions across West Virginia.


The Watts Museum’s exhibit, “Outside the Mine: Daily Life in a Coal Camp, is currently on display at the J. Frank Marsh Library at Concord University in Athens, where it will remain until June. Sites for future traveling exhibits include the Ritchie County Historical Society in Pennsboro, the Whipple Company Store in Scarbro and the National Coal Heritage Area’s Interpretive Center in Bramwell.

Through its traveling exhibits program, the Watts Museum hopes to stimulate West Virginians’ awareness, enthusiasm and appreciation for their local history and reach audiences that otherwise would not have access to the museum’s exhibits. 

“We have had a tremendous response to the traveling exhibits program from our fellow cultural institutions in West Virginia,” said Curator Danielle Petrak. “All of the Watts Museum’s traveling exhibits have been booked for the 2016 season, and we are working on scheduling exhibits for 2017.  We are very grateful to the West Virginia Humanities Council for their support of this program.”

The Watts Museum is traveling four different exhibits in 2016 on topics pertaining to the social, cultural, and technological history of West Virginia industry. Additional exhibits will be made available for travel each year. There is no exhibit fee to host a traveling exhibit at a nonprofit institution in West Virginia, but borrowing organizations are responsible for the travel costs associated with the set-up and removal of the exhibits.

Housed in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting the social, cultural and technological history of the coal, oil and natural gas industries of the state of West Virginia through the collection, preservation, research and exhibition of objects relevant to these industries. For more information, please contact the museum at (304) 293-4609 or



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Phone: 304-293-4135