College of Liberal Arts: Department of History and Geography: Laboratory of History Museum: Museum History
UCO Laboratory of History Museum
- In 1915, history professor Lucy J. Hampton founded the Central State Normal Historical Society. The purpose of the society was to "...collect, arrange, and preserve historical material...illustrative of and relating to the history of Oklahoma..." The Society called their museum the Laboratory of Original Evidence. It was first housed in a classroom in the basement of Evans Hall. The museum was primarily used for teaching history to the Normal School students, but local school classes often came to tour the museum.
- In 1921, as the demand for classroom space increased, the museum items were stored in the attic of Old North.
- In 1931, space was available to set up the museum on the mezzanine level of Evans Hall.
- In 1953, the museum was moved to the first floor of Evans Hall. An article tells us that it was moved to a bigger space which was "...the original section set aside in the Library Building for the Museum..." The museum was upgraded and new display cases and bookcases were installed.
- 1958 - Lucy J. Hampton retires after 48 years of teaching. Roger Umphers, Social Studies professor, becomes the new curator.
- 1974 - Dr. Royce Peterson, history professor, becomes director.
The museum becomes the Laboratory of History Museum
- 1980s - Students enrolled in the Museum Studies program through the Department of History and Geography begin working in the museum. The museum aids the Museum Studies program in the capacity of a "hands-on" training resource for the students.
- 1989 - Jan. 1990 - Artifacts removed and stored during renovation of Evans Hall
- 1990-2007 - Laboratory of History Museum located on mezzanine level of Evans Hall
- 2008 - Heidi Vaughn hired as first full-time director of the museum. Vaughn obtained a M.A. in History/Museum Studies from UCO in 1998.
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