The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center

The Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center is a new tribally owned-and­operated, state-of-the-art complex located in Mashantucket, Conn. Opened on August 11, 1998, it presents the rich history of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the histories and cultures of other tribes, and the region’s natural history through a series of innovative presentations.

Utilizing the latest in exhibit design and technology, the 85,000-square-foot permanent indoor exhibits presents several types of interpretation to the visitor.  Evolving Mashantucket Pequot life is conveyed through dioramas and exhibits, films and videos, interactive programs, archival materials, ethnographic and archaeological collections, and commissioned works of art and traditional crafts by Native artisans. A glacial crevasse, a caribou hunt of 11,000 years ago, a walk-through, 16th-century woodland Indian village, a 17th-century Pequot fort, and an outdoor, 18th-century farmstead set on two acres with orchards and gardens are some of the exhibits that take visitors from the last Ice Age to modern times.

Seven computer interactives, including more than three hours of original documentary video, have been created. A total of 13 films and video programs are on view throughout the permanent exhibit space in 10 locations. The visually impaired are able to move through the exhibits utilizing an infrared communications system and access audio interpretation, with selected replica artifacts available for all to touch in specially designated areas, including spearheads, fur clothing and tools. The films, computer interactives and videos are closed captioned for the hearing impaired.

The 308,000 square-foot complex, whose research facility serves as a major resource for scholars and the general public on American and Canadian Native histories and cultures, is one of the most innovative and comprehensive centers of its kind in the United States.

The conceptual design for the permanent exhibits was created by tribal members, consultants and DMCD Incorporated, and the exhibit design by Design Division, Inc., of New York, Michael A. Hanke, principal. The principal Architect was Polshek and Partners, Architects of New York City. The General Contractor was Pavarini Construction of Stamford, CT and New York. McPhee Electric/Grey Wolf (Native Sons) performed the low voltage and life safety installations including the fire alarm, security system, voice and data systems, card key access and paging and sound systems.