Permanent Collection

Ansano di Pietro di Mencio (1406-1481)
Ave Gratia Plena (Hail Full of Grace),
Madonna and Child (c.1470)
Paint and gold leaf on wood panel
Collection of the Massillon
Gift of Robert Peet Skinner (61.94.2)

About the Permanent Collection

The Museum’s collection and exhibition program reflect the varied interests of a broad constituency. The mission is to offer a rich mix of history and visual arts to people of all backgrounds and age groups. The Museum is charged with collecting the best in local and regional art and collecting and exhibiting local and regional historical artifacts. An estimated 95% of the catalogued permanent collection consists of gifts from the community. Therefore, there is a direct connection between the permanent collection and the social, economic and cultural history of the community.

At this time the collection encompasses approximately 100,000 objects in 94 categories. Included among the 94 categories are paintings and prints, ceramics, glass, photographs, textiles, costumes, military artifacts, city records, agricultural equipment, Native American objects, quilts, books, musical instruments, medical equipment, furniture, toys, household equipment, circus memorabilia, and many other items. The largest collections in the Massillon Museum are photographs, household artifacts, costumes, china, glass, pottery and circus memorabilia.

Theodore C. Teeple (1835-1913)
Jacob Rohr Barn Raising, 1888
From original glass plate negative
Collection of the Massillon Museum
Gift of William K. Yost (57.183)

The Museum's barn raising photograph, taken by Theodore C. Teeple in the 1880s on the site of present-day Shady Hollow Country Club's clubhouse, has been used all over the world: murals in embassies and art centers, the cover of the national United Way annual report, re-enacted as a float in the Rose Bowl Parade, in textbooks of many languages, and as a poster promoting the U.S. Postal Service voluntarism stamp.

Breathtaking glass objects in the collection are as diverse as signed Tiffany goblets, ancient Egyptian bottles, and Massillon glass paperweights and canes.

The Museum is home to 60,000 photographs, 17,000 archival and reference documents, 800 sets of salt and pepper shakers, 700 geological specimens, and fossils, 300 hats, 251 paintings, 210 toys and dolls, 55 weapons, 3 pianos, 2 steam engines, and 1 skeleton named Oscar.


Velma B. Erwin Research Room, Archives & Library

To find out more about the Archives and Library, or use the Velma B. Erwin Research Room, please click here.

View the Permanent Collection & Archives Online:

1907-1908 Jewel Automobile
Oscar the Skeleton
The Immel Circus

View Virtual Archives from the permanent collection and archives
For other online research resources and finding aids, click here.

Preserving Your Own Objects

To learn more about preserving your objects, visit our Toolkits & How-To Guides.




The Massillon Museum's Award-Winning Collections Storage

In 2009-2010 the Massillon Museum completed a state-of-the-art collections storage project. The staff have worked with interns and volunteers to properly rehouse objects in the new cabinets and storage space.



Adopt-a-drawer & Adopt-a-box

The storage of items in our collections and archives is costly. Your donation can go to  house a specific collection, item, or shelf within the state-of-the-art collections storage room.

Adopt-a-Drawer: You can sponsor a cabinet drawer that will hold some of the collections more fragile artifacts. Your name will be placed on a plaque on the cabinet drawer acknowledging your contribution. In addition, your name will be listed on the Preservation Honor Roll on our website and in our quarterly newsletter.

There are many drawers to choose from, including those housing hats, Massillon glass, doll house furniture, silver, shoes, and more. For more information please contact Archivist Mandy Altimus Stahl by email or by phone: 330-833-4061 x113.

Levels: $75 half drawer / $150 full drawer

Adopt-a-Box: You can sponsor an archival box that will hold Museum materials such as Civil War letters, city ledgers, or photographs. Your name will appear on the outside of the box acknowledging your contribution. In addition, your name will listed on Preservation Honor Roll on our website and in our quarterly newsletter.

There are many boxes to choose from, including architectural drawings, photographs, letters, personal papers, and more. For more information please contact Archivist Mandy Altimus Stahl by email or by phone: 330-833-4061 x113.

Levels: $10 one box / $25 three boxes


Preservation Honor Roll

The following people have made generous contributions to the Massillon Museum, which has enabled us to maintain and preserve our collections through the purchase of items such as cabinet drawers, shelving, garment boxes, document boxes, and tissue paper.  We thank them for their thoughtfulness and support of the Massillon Museum, its collections, and most importantly the preservation of our community’s history.  To learn how you can make the honor roll, contact the Archivist or use our donation form below.

Major funding for collections storage provided by:

State of Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission
The Hoover Foundation
Timken Foundation
Jane Williams Mahoney Philanthropic Fund

Preservation Honor Roll
Adopt-a-box & Adopt-a-drawer:

Debora and Richard Altimus
Richard Altimus
Laura Arnold
Wesley Bishop
Terry & Betsy (Immel) Conner
Jeanne Cooper
Robert E. Dawson
Dottie DeFrance
Beverly Denholm, in memory of Chris Smith
David Denman
Maggie Denman
Betty A. Edwards
Mary Ann Fowler
Bill & Virginia Fox, in memory of Frances Ruth Cleaver
Richard and Susan Gessner
Robert Gessner
Gessner Family Foundation
Sally Grant
Vivianne Greene
Christina Nicholis Haas
Leslie A. Heaphy
Hoover Foundation
Institute of Museum and Library Services
Gail Keener

Gail M. Kincaid, In Memory of Dale B. Kincaid
Charles and Wendy LittleJane Williams Mahoney Philanthropic Fund
Massillon Heritage Foundation, Inc. (Nancy Thatcher)
Dr. Charles S. and Veralee H. McClain
Lois McHugh, in honor of Bryan and Mandy Altimus Stahl
Al & Carol Messenger
Wanda Miller, in memory of Albert E. Hise
Ohio Cultural Facilities Commission
Doug Palmer
Scot Phillips
Kenneth S. Robinson
Thomas and Chiquita Seesan
Maude Slagle
John and Elaine Snively
Joe Snively and Linda Devore
The Sparks Family
John Spinks
Rudolph and Aileen Tekaucic
Timken Foundation
Sylvia Triesel, in memory of Vivian & Phil Cossentino
Robert and Cheryl Wentzel
Dale E. Young
Robert K. Yund


Author Your Legacy at MassMu

MassMu Contributions
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