Welcome to the Museum

Macbride Hall

The University of Iowa Museum of Natural History is the second oldest museum in the United States west of the Mississippi River. Established in 1858, the museum has been free and open to the public for more than 160 years housing specimens, objects, and artifacts on display to support learning and exploration.

Learn more about our history 


Collectors' Day at the Museum of Natural History promotional image

Collectors' Day at the Museum of Natural History

Saturday, June 1, 2024 12:00pm to 3:00pm
University of Iowa Museum of Natural History
Collectors from our My Collections exhibition series are back! This family-friendly, fair-style event encourages self-exploration and celebrates collecting. Guests get to interact with collectors/collections, participate in special activities, observe special demonstrations, and gather stamps and prizes along the way.
Learn about the race to save one of the world's few remaining cycloramas, right here at the UI Museum of Natural History.

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Laysan Island Cyclorama

The University of Iowa Pentacrest Museums (Old Capitol Museum & The UI Museum of Natural History) serve to strengthen the vital role of both Museums in the educational, research, and engagement missions of the University, enhancing the campus-wide focus on cultural and environmental diversity. 


UI Indigenous Land Acknowledgement

The University of Iowa is located on the homelands of the Ojibwe/Anishinaabe (Chippewa), Báxoǰe (Iowa), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Omāēqnomenēwak (Menominee), Myaamiaki (Miami), Nutachi (Missouri), Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha), Wahzhazhe (Osage), Jiwere (Otoe), Odawaa (Ottawa), Póⁿka (Ponca), Bodéwadmi/Neshnabé (Potawatomi), Meskwaki/Nemahahaki/Sakiwaki (Sac and Fox), Dakota/Lakota/Nakoda, Sahnish/Nuxbaaga/Nuweta (Three Affiliated Tribes) and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) Nations. The following tribal nations, Umoⁿhoⁿ (Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and Iowa), Póⁿka (Ponca Tribe of Nebraska), Meskwaki (Sac and Fox of the Mississippi in Iowa), and Ho-Chunk (Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska) Nations continue to thrive in the State of Iowa and we continue to acknowledge them. As an academic institution, it is our responsibility to acknowledge the sovereignty and the traditional territories of these tribal nations, and the treaties that were used to remove these tribal nations, and the histories of dispossession that have allowed for the growth of this institution since 1847. Consistent with the University's commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, understanding the historical and current experiences of Native peoples will help inform the work we do; collectively as a university to engage in building relationships through academic scholarship, collaborative partnerships, community service, enrollment and retention efforts acknowledging our past, our present and future Native Nations.

The Pentacrest Museums accept donations via the University of Iowa Center for Advancement. Your tax-deductible gift of any size contributes to research, collections care, and innovative learning experiences on and off campus.


Musk Oxen at UI Museum of Natural History, Mammal Hall photo by John Emigh