The fate of a unique collection of IBM Endicott memorabilia remains uncertain as a village museum has extended its closure without explanation.

The Endicott History and Heritage Center on Washington Avenue was suddenly shut down in late October.

Signs at the museum, which normally is open on Saturdays, indicated it would be closed through December 2. But new signage indicates it will not open at least through January.

A sign posted at the Endicott History and Heritage Center on November 30, 2023. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A sign posted at the Endicott History and Heritage Center on November 30, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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The signs and the center's website don't give a reason for the closure. It came after a  secret plan to return the "IBM Collection" to the company became public.

The museum building is owned by the Old Village of Union Historical Society. Ted Warner, the organization's president, has not returned calls seeking information about the future of the heritage center.

A historic IBM Endicott photo on display at the village heritage center. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A historic IBM Endicott photo on display at the village heritage center. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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In a letter dated November 7, Warner wrote that the museum had been losing money for the past two years. He said the organization's board had been unable to obtain any financial assistance.

In the letter, Warner stated "the only option and only solution that offered real relief was to end the IBM loan and rent out the space to a tenant."

An IBM PCjr unit that was released by the computer maker nearly four decades ago. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
An IBM PCjr unit that was released by the computer maker nearly four decades ago. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Warner's statement noted "there was an outpouring of concern about the collection leaving the area." He indicated various ideas to keep the collection in the Endicott area would be considered by the board..

The board of directors met on November 21 but Warner has not revealed if IBM has been advised that local residents don't want the company to take the historical items back.

A vintage advertisement for an IBM electric typewriter in the window of the Endicott History and Heritage Center. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A vintage advertisement for an IBM electric typewriter in the window of the Endicott History and Heritage Center. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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