Presently the museum is located on the mezzanine of the Richard Sugden Library. The museum was inspired by Spencer historian Henry M. Tower.
After discussing the project with Elias Hall, Dr. Charles P. Barton, Joseph W. Temple and Nathan Hersey a meeting was held in the Town Hall in December of 1873. From this meeting a circular was sent out explaining the purpose of the museum and requesting donations. The response was favorable.
Items were displayed in the basement of the Town Hall, and later moved upstairs to a room on the second floor. The museum remained at Town Hall until the Richard Sugden Library was opened in 1889. It was then moved to the Reading Room of the Library, then to the basement during renovations in 1931, and finally to the mezzanine of the Library after extensive renovations in 1997. The Museum has been operated by the Spencer Historical Society, a private non-profit group, for over twenty years.
The Museum consists of two main collections: items donated to the Historical Museum, and items donated to the Library. The Historical Society has undertaken an ambitious project to create a digital catalog of all museum collections, which will provide control over our collections and storage areas, and allow us to produce modern exhibits, displays, brochures, and online catalogs. The Library provides professional cataloging and access for archival materials such as town histories, annual reports, and genealogical materials.
The Museum is an integral part of the Library, and benefits from this partnership by sharing a security system, fire protection system, and utility costs. The Historical Society is, therefore, able to concentrate its resources on museum development. Our current focus is on acquiring and displaying artifacts to tell compelling stories about Spencer history and its families and neighborhoods.