The museums in the Metropolitan region allow visitors to explore everything from the wonders of science and technology to the history of the civil rights movement in Alabama. Whatever your interest, you'll find that the museums in our area provide ample opportunity for personal education and enrichment.
The seven exhibit halls of the Anniston Museum of Natural History vary from a representation of the African wilderness to artifacts from ancient Egypt to a full-scale replica of an Alabama cave. The museum also features one of the nation's oldest ornithological collections, with more than 400 mounted specimens of North American birds (including some that are now endangered and extinct). The hands-on learning continues with nature trails, a children's discovery room, and art exhibits.
On quiet fall day in 1954, a meteorite plummeted down from the sky, crashed through the roof of a house in Sylacauga, Alabama, and struck Ann Hodges in the leg. The Hodges meteorite is the only documented case of a meteorite striking a human, and the astronomical anomaly is one of the prized pieces shown at the Alabama Museum of Natural History. Located in Smith Hall on the University of Alabama campus, the museum showcases thousands of artifacts including a vast collection of fossils, historical artifacts from around the world, and a variety of mineral specimens.
The Karl C. Harrison Museum of George Washington tracks our nation's first presidential family from the colonial period through until 1865. Some of the museum's most prized possessions include Martha Washington's prayer book, tools from George Washington's survey case and Samuel Vaughn's original sketch of the plan for Mt. Vernon's landscaping. The collection also contains letters, furniture, porcelain, glassware, jewelry, and other artifacts. The museum is located in a wing of the Harrison Regional Library in Columbiana, Alabama.
An interactive science museum, the MkcWane Center is designed to make learning an exciting experience for visitors of any age. Guests can build their own mini- roller coaster, discover more than 50 species of saltwater life, or lead a simulated space mission. For the youngest of inquiring minds, an exhibit designed for toddlers recreates the world through the eyes of a tiny mouse. A 6-story Imax® Dome Theater educates and entertains with larger-than-life images and crystal-clear digital sound. In addition to the permanent offerings, the McWayne Center plays host to traveling exhibits on a wide range of interesting subjects.
Alabama has been either the birthplace or the second home to some of the most accomplished athletes in sports history. From Mobile-born baseball star Hank Aaron to legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul W. "Bear" Bryant, the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame and Museum honors the Alabama's sporting heroes. Located next to the Jefferson civic center in Birmingham, the museum itself features over 5,000 artifacts of sports memorabilia.
During the 1960's George Barber raced, modified, and maintained Porches, notching 63 first place wins in all. After his racing career was over, he began collecting and restoring classic sports cars, and eventually became fascinated with motorcycles. Fueled by Barber's desire to preserve motorcycle history, the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum opened in Birmingham in 1995. The museum displays in the neighborhood of 500 vintage and modern motorcycles at any given time (there are over 900 in the total Barber collection), as well as a substantial collection of rare sports and racecars.