GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. (AP) — A museum focusing on early civil rights history in Western Massachusetts has opened.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Center in Great Barrington recently unveiled the Museum of Civil Rights Pioneers and will feature items related to the African-American experience in Berkshire County and the rest of the state.

The museum will display rare books and documents connected with civil rights icons like Frederick Douglass, performer Paul Robeson, writer Langston Hughes, and Great Barrington-born civil rights pioneer Du Bois. Highlights include Robeson’s contract to play Othello on Broadway and a Bible owned by Hughes.

Randy Weinstein, who runs the center and opened the museum, says he wanted to launch the museum on the 150th anniversary of the start of the U.S. Civil War.

Details on visiting the museum are at http://www.duboiscentergb.org/. Admission is $5 and the facility is scheduled to be open weekends 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.