History of the Museum



Mention of a museum at the College was first made in the 1858-59 Catalogue of Greensboro Female College. At that time, the museum was described as still being in its infancy. Initial interest in a museum waned with the coming of the Civil War and the hardships that war brought. The fire that destroyed the original Main Building on August 9, 1863, and resulted in the closure of the College further diminished interest in preserving the past.

When the College reopened on August 27, 1873, emphasis was on rebuilding, growth, and the future, not the past. During the early 1930s, interest in preserving the past was piqued by the approach of the College’s centennial anniversary in 1938. As a result of the amount of research required for the historical costumes showcased in the centennial pageant, the Alumni Association asked all classes of which there was still a living member to dress a doll in costume representative of their year of graduation. The response was extraordinary, and the Alumni Association had its first true collection of artifacts. From the 1930s on, objects accumulated in the Alumni Office because there was no place set aside for an actual museum.

In 1965, the Alumni Association established a committee to investigate the feasibility of creating a museum. The first Museum Chairman was appointed in the spring of 1967, and in December 1969, the museum was located at 110 College Place. The museum was officially named the Brock Museum of Greensboro College History in 1973 in honor of the Brock sisters, who dedicated a great portion of their lives and resources to the College and museum. In February 1977, a museum endowment was established to provide for the continued existence of the museum in the future.

The years 1993 and 1994 marked a pivotal time period in which the relationships among the College, the museum, and the Alumni Association were reexamined and the College assumed full responsibility for the museum. In 1995, the museum was moved to its present location on the third floor of the Main Building, and the museum’s first professional curator was hired in late 1996. In the spring of 2000, the museum’s name was officially changed to the Brock Historical Museum of Greensboro College.