Archives and Library
Using The Velma B. Erwin Research Room
The Massillon Museum will be glad to help you research a topic. The permanent collection contains more than 100,000 objects and archives.
You may want to look at our Research Frequently Asked Questions list, many popular requests can be answered here.
*Due to a high volume of research requests, our research staff will answer your request in the order it was received. Please allow up to 4 weeks for a response. Thank you for your patience.
The Massillon Museum Archives hold more than 17,000 archival documents and 60,000 photographs. Staff and volunteers are continually scanning photographs and documents to make them more accessible. Check back often for online images.
To view our current online galleries showcasing our photography collection, visit our Virtual Exhibits here.
Hundreds of hours of audio and video including oral histories, collections highlights, Dr. Immel describing his circus, and more. Some of these archives are available online. Click here for a full list of podcasts.
For film transfers, video tapes, and recently recorded videos, please view our Youtube channel.
Archivist Mandy Pond and several interns and volunteers are currently processing thousands of books in the collection. These include reference books relating to art, furniture, local and state history, rare books, local business publications, unpublished manuscripts, and local family genealogies.
Many of these rare books need extra care. Archivist Mandy Pond is seeking sponsorships for book boxes. To learn more about how you can help, please click here.
To read about interesting finds, upcoming projects, and progress in the collections and archives, please visit our blog!
Preserving Your Own Objects
To learn more about preserving your photographs and textiles, please click here.
About the Velma B. Erwin Research Room
Carved from a corner of the Massillon Museum’s third floor collections storage area, the Velma B. Erwin Research Room is nearing completion. The space will include efficient and supervised work space for scholars, students, researchers, staff, and community members seeking information from the Museum’s archives. The Museum’s library of art and history reference books will line the adjacent hallway.
The dedicated research area, a long-time need, has been possible with a portion of a bequest from Velma B. Erwin, who passed away in March of this year. A Washington High School and Kent State University graduate, Erwin taught in the Massillon School System—at Longfellow Junior High School and Gorrell Elementary School—for 34 years. Many remember her devotion to Central Presbyterian Church and the Massillon Woman’s Club.
“Velma Erwin dedicated her career to education; she spent much of her leisure time reading and researching. It is fitting that this permanent facility will be her legacy,” said Alexandra Nicholis, the Museum’s interim executive director, who is overseeing the construction of the entire third-floor collections storage renovation project. “With our generous benefactor’s foresight we’ve taken another step forward in our commitment to serving our community.”
The Velma B. Erwin Research Room is open by appointment. To review information and photographs in the Museum archives, contact Museum Archivist Mandy Pond via email or by phone at 330-833-4061.