Pickler Memorial Library



E. M. Violette Museum Collection

The E. M. Violette Museum Collection is a historical collection acquired primarily through the generosity of students, faculty & many friends of the University. The artifacts, manuscript, and research materials are available through the Special Collections & Museums of Pickler Memorial Library.

Mission & Scope of the Museum

The Mission of the Museum is to support and participate in the educational mission of the University by the collection, preservation and exhibition of historical artifacts.

No limits were placed on the types of things included in the collection until the mid 1900s; "anything historical" was acceptable. When space constraints created a need to limit collecting scope, it was decided to specialize in Missouriana, with an emphasis on the history and development of the northeast Missouri region. University artifacts and memorabilia are collected by the University Archives.

Campus Museums & Galleries

Ruth W. Towne Museum & Visitors Center
NE Corner, Franklin & Normal
660) 785-4038 (Libraries & Museums)
(660) 785-4114 (University Admissions Office)

University Art Gallery
Ophelia Parrish Fine Arts Center
(660) 785-5386

Accessing the Museum Collection

Consisting of over 6,000 objects, the museum collections are maintained, preserved, and made available to faculty, staff, students, and other researchers upon request. On occasion, the artifacts may be put on special exhibit at the Ruth W. Towne Museum & Visitors Center or in Pickler Memorial Library's gallery areas. Please contact the Special Collections & Museums department for more information.

History of the Collection

Early in the 20th century, E. M. Violette, professor of history at the First District Normal School, as we were then known, saw a need for a museum of historical material. With the aid of the school's historical society, which he sponsored, he collected artifacts both for use in the classroom and to be displayed in an exhibit hall on the second floor of Baldwin Hall.

Dr. J. L. Kingsbury assumed care of the collection when Mr. Violette left on 1923. The next January, a quirk of fate saved the artifacts when they were moved to the new Kirk Auditorium building a mere six days before a fire destroyed Baldwin and Library Halls. The collection was moved to Pickler Memorial Library when it was completed in 1925 and then, in the early 1930s, was put into storage so the museum rooms could be used for classroom space.

Though the artifacts were packed away, faculty members who had been students of both Mr. Violette and Dr. Kingsbury kept interest and awareness of the Museum alive. One of them, Dr. Walter H. Ryle, took steps to revitalize the museum when he became President in 1937.

The collection was officially named The E. M. Violette Museum by resolution of the Board of Regents on April 23, 1940. It was reopened, with appropriate ceremony, in rooms designed for it in the basement of the new John R. Kirk Memorial on June 4, 1943. This museum exhibit area remained operational until the Fall of 2003, when environmental concerns required that the collections be moved to a more appropriate location to ensure their preservation.

Local Historical Museums

Adair County Historical Society
211 S. Elson
Kirksville, MO 63501
(660) 665-6502

Coal Miners Museum
804 Corrigan Ave.
Novinger, MO 63559
(660) 488-5280
(660) 342-6455

Novinger Log Homestead
203 Snyder Ave.
Novinger, MO 63559
(660) 488-5280
(660) 342-6455

Museum of Osteopathic Medicine
Tinning Education Building, A.T. Still University
800 W. Jefferson
Kirksville, MO 63501
(660) 626-2359
(866) 626-2878, ext. 2359