Western Pennsylvania's unique blend of cultures, people, and ideas have distinguished our region as a place that is both a beloved hometown and a leader of innovation.
Special Collections, a 10,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art open storage gallery, brings together a rich collection of artifacts that reflect this special heritage.
Highlights from Special Collections include:
- Iconic items from various ethnic communities including African American, Carpatho Rusyn, Czech, Germanic, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Polish, Serbian, Slovak, and more
- Ethnic costumes and vintage clothing, including dresses, hats, and handbags
- Unique artifacts from local businesses and corporations such as Alcoa, H.J. Heinz, Gulf Oil, Mellon Financial, U.S. Steel, and Westinghouse
- Toys from the 19th and 20th centuries, including roller skates, fire trucks, and dolls
- A 1941 Cadillac hearse from the Gaines Funeral Home, one of the oldest continuous African American businesses in the region
- Mr. Rogers’ sweater, sneakers, and trolley
- Stained glass
Download MP3 audio tours that feature local Pittsburgh personalities telling the stories behind many of the items:
On-site computer workstations allow visitors to study specific artifacts in even more depth.
A large window inside the collections management area, “The Grace M. Compton Conservation Lab,” provides behind-the-scenes access to museum professionals.