Current & Past Exhibitions

Experience Westerville's past through the themed exhibitions of artifacts on display in the Westerville History Center & Museum.

Displays change periodically, showcasing different items and artifacts from the Westerville collection based on a central theme, including descriptions and historical content.

Walk-ins welcome.

Prohibition! Expectation vs. Reality

2019-2021

Travel back in time to the Prohibition era (1920-1933), when it was illegal to buy or sell alcohol in the United States. From unintended consequences to unexpected outcomes, experience what life was like back then with interactive displays of historic objects, audio clips, photo-ops, and more.

Topics include:

  • 18th Amendment
  • African Americans & the Prohibition era
  • Anti-Saloon League
  • Fashion
  • Female outlaws
  • Gangsters & organized crime
  • Jazz music
  • Propaganda & persuasion
  • Pros/cons
  • Speakeasies
  • Suffrage movement & the Prohibition era
  • Westerville’s role
  • Wet or dry: arguments for & against

A national issue with Westerville roots, learn about the part Westerville played in the passage of the 18th amendment, 100 years later. Delve into the role of the Anti-Saloon League – headquartered where the Westerville Public Library now stands - who used marketing and campaigning savvy to persuade the nation to vote themselves dry. Discover the long-lasting effects of the era and how it made way for organized crime, societal freedom for women, the rise of jazz music, and more.

Share about your experiences, hashtag #anythingbutdry.

Though there is no age restriction for entry, please note that this exhibit covers historical topics related to alcohol, including bootleggers, organized crime, speakeasies, and other unseemly legacies of the Prohibition era. No alcohol will be served.

Traveling Exhibit

City of Hope: Resurrection City and the 1968 Poor People's Campaign

Summer & Fall 2021

Explore the history and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daring vision for economic justice and opportunity for every U.S. citizen.

During the 1960s, the United States emerged as a superpower on the world stage. But at home, poverty prevented access to opportunities for people of every race, age, and region of the county. Although President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “war on poverty” in 1964, tens of millions of Americans were denied livable wages, adequate housing, nutritious food, quality education, and healthcare.

Led by Drs. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph David Abernathy, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference declared poverty a national human rights issue. In response, the organization planned the Poor People’s Campaign—a grassroots, multiracial movement that drew thousands of people to Washington, D.C. For 43 days between May and June 1968, demonstrators demanded social reforms while living side-by-side on the National Mall in a tent city known as Resurrection City.

Source: This exhibit is organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service in collaboration with the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Virtual Exhibit

Breaking the Ice: Trailblazing Women of Westerville

For over 200 years, women with passion, persistence, and courage have shaped the course of Westerville's history. These women had bold visions. They saw potential, overcame challenges, and enacted change. One Westerville reporter described the first woman who rode a bicycle through town as having "broken the ice." Many other local women, from librarian to cryptologist, Marine to musician, broke the ice in their own creative ways.

Sometimes Westerville served as the focal point of their pioneering efforts, and other times it served as a springboard, launching their innovation into the wider world. Wherever they landed, these Westerville women transformed their communities with their impressive accomplishments. As we commemorate the 100th anniversary of women's suffrage on a national level this year, we also remember the women who trailblazed the way close to home.

Past Themes

  • 2017-2019 - Over There: A World War I Exhibit
  • 2016 - Fashion from the Westerville Collection
  • 2015 - World War II

Contact Us

Questions? Contact us at 614-882-7277 ext. 7 or localhistory@westervillelibrary.org.

Events & Classes (History & Culture)

Hours
Mon - Thurs

9 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Fri

9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sat

9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sun

1 - 6 p. m.