Containing artifacts from the state's military history dating as far back as 1808, the Museum of Missouri Military History, located at the Ike Skelton Training Site east of Jefferson City, has begun to run out of exhibit space.
As part of a process to modernize the facility and increase accessibility to visitors, the museum will move to a new location in 2013.
"We currently have about 2,000 square feet of exhibit space," stated Charles Machon, the museum's director.
"When we move to the new facility, we will triple our available display area."
According to Machon, the move will ensure the larger historical items now displayed outside of the museum, such as a "six-pounder" cannon from the Civil War, will be protected from the elements and become integrated into interactive displays.
In the new location, Machon explained, they'll be able to incorporate technology into the displays making the museum experience much more informative and engaging.
"We're going to tie-in interviews that have been completed over the last several years with Missouri veterans from different eras and wars," Machon said. "We'll have kiosks set up where portions of these interviews can be viewed."
Machon also notes the museum staff will be scanning old military manuals into computerized displays that visitors will be able view during their visit.
"We have an 1896 manual for Army cooks," Machon said. "During a tour, visitors we'll be able to look at manuals such as this and, for example, copy down recipes.
"Contrary to popular belief, many of these recipes aren't that bad," Machon jokingly added.
In addition to increased floor space and the incorporation of technology, Machon said there'll be more accessible parking for school tours and all displays will now be on one level, making inventory and storage much easier for museum staff.
Currently located on the far end of the training site, the new museum facility will be in the Patriot Center, just inside the site's entrance.
"The Missouri Museum of Military History will be a strong addition to our Patriot Center," said Maj. Gen. Stephen L. Danner, adjutant general of the Missouri National Guard. "It is an opportunity to honor the veterans who served before us while also highlighting the long, rich history of the Missouri National Guard."
Last year, Machon said, the museum hosted approximately 3,000 visitors.
"This should really help increase our visitor population and ensure we can protect precious Missouri military artifacts," Machon said.
For more information on the Museum of Missouri Military History, please visit www.moguard.com and click on the "Veteran/Retiree" link.
Jeremy P. Amick is the public affairs officer for the Silver Star Families of America.