Exhibits

Building Naperville: Tallgrass Prairie to Today

 Included in museum admission  | Lower-level of the Pre-Emption House Visitors Center

Building Naperville: Tallgrass Prairie to Today takes a fresh look at Naperville’s storied past with an update on the lower level permanent exhibit space. Building Naperville touches on various themes including people and places and engages the visitor with stories, artifacts, and questions which have the power to educate and inspire. Sections of the exhibit that were updated include adding Prairie Band Potawatomi voices, a spotlight on the Naperville Lyceum, a new focus on transportation changes, and the City’s story of suburbanization.

Unvarnished: Housing Discrimination in the Northern and Western United States

Unvarnished: Housing Discrimination in the Northern and Western United States is a free online exhibit examining the history of residential segregation in America by spotlighting six communities from California to Connecticut and placing their histories within a national context. Supported through an Institute of Museum and Library Services Museum Leadership Grant and the Healing Illinois Grant Program, a consortium of six history museums and cultural organizations from across the country collaborated from 2017 to 2022 to research and present their community’s history of exclusion. Online visitors will learn how housing discrimination often based on race, ethnicity, or religion was a large-scale system that resulted in segregation patterns across the Northern and Western United States that intensified over the twentieth century. Nearly two dozen interactive articles, accompanied by in-depth explainer videos, photos, interviews, and other primary sources, showcase how formal systems of segregation were developed through individual practices and expanded through federal policy, sustained over time, and continue to affect today’s communities.  To view the online exhibit, please visit UnvarnishedHistory.org

We also invite you to visit Naper Settlement’s onsite companion exhibit that examines Naperville’s Unvarnished history through October 28, 2022, in the Museum Visitor Center.  This exhibit is included in museum admission. 

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