National Psychology Museum is Opening Expanded Space in Akron

Jun 25, 2018

The national psychology museum in Akron is holding a grand re-opening this week. The Smithsonian affiliate has undergone a multi-million dollar expansion and renovation.

Museum display, Sigmund Freud
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The Cummings Center for the History of Psychology has been on the north side of the University of Akron Campus for eight years. But it took until this month to complete construction of areas within the building fto display its full collections of artifacts and original documents. It's the largest such collection in the world.  

Psychology professor David Baker, executive director of the center, says the museum is organized around three themes: psychology as a science, as a profession and psychology as an agent of social change.”

Upstairs, scholars from around the world can access an archive with original documents from the greatest minds in psychology and historic writings on human behavior dating to the 16th century.

Electronic cranium measure
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

Baker says while the original museum area was a well-done and well-received presentation space, the new area is special.

“When we were opened before, I would consider that a gallery.  We would probably average hundred people a month. And it was very popular. That’s why we are so excited to open this.

"And I think the response will be strong and steady. I really do think of this as a destination now. This is a real, full-fledged museum.”

David Baker describes Nobel Prize medal
Credit TIM RUDELL / WKSU

The museum is at the University of Akron because it was there, in the 1960s that two professors began collecting the national archive of psychology.