YSU students unveil exhibit at McKinley Memorial

William McKinley

William McKinley

A new exhibit researched, designed and assembled by Youngstown State University graduate students will be unveiled 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 8, in the auditorium of the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial in Niles, Ohio.


The new exhibit features two cases highlighting the presidential campaigns of Niles born President William McKinley. YSU graduate students in the Museum Curation 2 class, under the direction of YSU Professor Marcelle Wilson, spent four months gathering rarely seen political artifacts found in the archives.


The public is invited to view the exhibit and attend the opening reception.

The museum will be open for self-guided tours during the reception. Refreshments will also be provided. The students will be on hand to answer any questions regarding the new exhibit.


Over the course of their research, the students discovered some of the items relating to the campaigns were produced by local businesses. Tile manufacturer American Encaustic Tiling Co. Ltd. of Zanesville produced portrait tiles for the 1895 Republican State Convention. Two commemorative canes were produced by the Falcon Tin Plate and Sheet Co. in the city of Niles and Winfield Manufacturing Company of Warren.


Samantha Basile, curator of Collections at the museum, said the “exhibit showcases never before seen artifacts as well as previously displayed campaign memorabilia.” Some of the items are from the Bechtel Collection purchased in 2010. In addition to the new exhibit, the museum has undergone a restructuring of previously displayed cases.


The McKinley Birthplace Museum, operated by the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial Association, is located in the balcony of the right wing of the National McKinley Birthplace Memorial. It is free and open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Tours may be arranged at other times by calling the museum. For more information, visit www.mckinleybirthplacemuseum.org, call 330-652-4273, or visit Facebook or Twitter.