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Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am to 4pmJoin & Give

Permanent Galleries

The Cook Gallery





Our permanent exhibits are housed in the original 1918 Carnegie Library section of the museum building. Named after  Gayle Cook, exhibits in the Cook Gallery explore Monroe County from the time of first European settlement to the culture of today, including industrial advancement, education, and lifestyles. Sit at a desk in the 1880’s one room school, explore pioneer life in an original 1840’s cabin or immerse yourself in Bloomington and Monroe County Sports and learn about athletes from Indiana University and area high schools. Come explore the fascinating history of Monroe County.

 Henry & Cecilia Wahl Gateway

Come meet Monroe the Schmalz bear, sample local music, check out some limestone samples from around the area and get a sneak peak of the exhibits featured in the Cook Permanent Gallery.

Brown Gallery

From carriages to airplanes, the Brown Gallery features the ever-changing history of Monroe County transportation.

Rotating Galleries

Zines: A Culture in Focus

A zine, short for magazine, is a self-published, small-circulation work of original and appropriated text and images usually distributed amongst friends or sold locally. Zines provide a community for socially isolated and marginalized groups through the ability to share common ideas. Therefore, zines become a tangible trace of these often less documented marginal communities. The History Center received two donations of zine collections sharing these unique perspectives on life in our community with visitors. The exhibit features zines created by Monroe County residents and are, at times, deeply personal reflections on life in our community.

June 28 to October 29

The Hill Gallery is a rotating exhibit gallery sponsored by Margaret C. Hill. New exhibits are installed every 2-3 months.

Order Up! Restaurants of Monroe County

Order Up! Restaurants of Monroe County highlights the important place that restaurants have in our community’s history. We often gather in restaurants and around food to celebrate happy occasions or comfort one another during sad moments. We strengthen friendships and form new ones over a meal in restaurants. The places we love to each and share meals with one another can hold a deep place in our lives and Order Up! strives to honor those places. The exhibit will remember those beloved places that have gone from our community, such as Ladyman’s and Pancho’s Villa. As well as celebrate those long-standing establishments that have become synonymous with Bloomington, such as Nick’s English Hut and Trojan Horse.

August 2 to November 5

The Rechter Gallery is a rotating exhibit gallery sponsored by Richard P. Rechter. New exhibits are installed every 4-6 months.