The main exhibits and displays come from the Biggs Collection of period furnishings, silver, glassware, china, quilts, linens and civil war memorabilia. The majority of the items date from about 1860 to 1900. The English Victorian furniture outfitted the parlor, dining room and bedrooms of an antebellum home in Box Springs, Georgia, which still stands today. The contents of the home were bequeathed by the plantation owner to Mr. Biggs' grandmother, who was a slave. The Smithsonian Institution sought to obtain the quilts and antiques for its permanent anthology of historical collectibles, according to Mr. Biggs. However, he chose to donate the entire collection to Fort Valley State University in 1991.