There are several museums dedicated to the Titanic across the country, but only one that also serves as the official home of the Titanic Historical Society and its collection of rare artifacts from the ship, many donated by the survivors themselves.
Based in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, the Titanic Museum is tucked away behind Henry’s Jewelry and is usually only be found by visitors who are seeking it out. The Titanic Historical Society, Inc., which was started by the Kamuda family in 1963, is a non-profit organization whose purpose is the preservation of the history of the famous ocean liner RMS Titanic, which sank on April 15, 1912. The society also holds artifacts from the Titanic’s sister ships, which were owned and maintained by the White Star Line.
In addition to maintaining a collection of artifacts, the Titanic Historical Society prints a quarterly magazine, The Titanic Commutator, and hosts an annual convention where experts present in-depth information to members about various aspects of the maritime disaster. Over the years, the annual convention has brought together the few remaining survivors of the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage. One frequent guest at conventions has been Dr. Robert Ballard, whose explorations of the Titanic wreckage were supported by the society.
While the society’s extra work has brought them some attention - several members appeared as extras in James Cameron’s feature film - the majority of their work is dedicated to preserving an extensive collection of artifacts. Among the items in the museum’s collection are the life jacket Mrs. Jacob Astor wore, donated by Astor herself; the clothes and contents of the pocketbook owned by Selena Rogers Cook, another Titanic survivor; original blueprints from the ship; china and place settings; sections of carpet and railing removed from the wreckage; and much more.
The museum also holds a 9-foot model of the Titanic that shows in minute detail what the largest ship in the world looked like in 1912.
Know Before You Go
Coming from I-90, take Exit 7 at Ludlow, turn left and go south on Rte. 21. Cross the bridge and take a hard right on to Main St., which you will follow for half a mile. Enter through Henry's Jewelry building. From I-91, take the exit onto I-291 at Springfield, Massachusetts, and go several miles to Exit 5A (Indian Orchard). From there, stay on Rte. 20 for several lights and make a left on Berkshire Ave. Turn left onto Oak St. and then take a right on Main St. The museum is 1/8 miles on the left in Henry's Jewelry building. There is free parking on Main St.