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New exhibits on display at Durham museum 
The following exhibits are on display at the Durham Western Heritage Museum:

The Signers on display now through Sept. 2

They were lawyers and merchants, farmers and plantation owners, printers, teachers and musicians. They came from all parts of the country, from different backgrounds and with different opinions. Yet all 56 of these men were united in a willingness to give up their property, families and even their lives by signing the Declaration of Independence. Who were "the Signers"? This unique and significant exhibit -- drawn from the Durham Western Heritage Museum's Byron Reed Collection -- examines the lives of the signers and the events surrounding the Declaration.

Window on the West: Views from the American Frontier on display now through July 15

It's not just the west that you have seen in the movies and not the stuff of legend, but rather the American West as a newly-minted place -- a land of surprise, quick settlement and authentic grandeur, as seen by the artists who personally explored the land and visually documented what they saw. These 60 paintings from the Arthur J. Phelan Collection were selected to give an historically accurate cross-section of what really happened in the expansion of the west. They depict people who moved west from the Mississippi, the land they passed through and settled and the settlements they created.

Samuel Colt: Arms, Art and Invention on display now through Aug. 12

"Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal." This post-Civil War slogan would have been music to Sam Colt's ears had he lived long enough to hear it. Yet, even before his death at the age of 47, he knew that his invention of a weapon capable of firing without reloading was a tremendous success throughout the world. Some 19th-century historians have gone so far as to say that Sam Colt's invention altered the course of history. But when all was said and done, no man could deny that Sam Colt had achieved a level of both fame and fortune known to few other inventors. As a direct result of his invention and the marketing and sales success that followed, Sam Colt and his firearms played a prominent role in the history of a developing America. So popular was the Colt revolver during the latter half of the 1800s that it was perhaps the best-known firearm not only in this country but also in Canada, Mexico and many European countries. To this day, the name Colt suggests firearms to most Americans. This exhibit is composed of more than 170 objects, chiefly firearms, but also paintings, sculpture, photographs, medals, prints and other decorative arts that speak to the life of Samuel Colt. Not only are the contents of this exhibit in pristine condition, but the vast majority have never been seen outside of Hartford, Conn. This is a unique collection, made available to only six venues nationwide. Through a partnership between the medical center and museum, employees and students from UNMC, UNMC Physicians and The Nebraska Medical Center can visit the Durham free with valid identification.

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