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ISM Research & Collections Center

We regret that all Illinois State Museum facilities are closed to the public until further notice.

UPDATE: IDNR Press Release

llinois State Museum Will Re-Launch July 2 SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) announced today that the Illinois State Museum will re-launch Saturday, July 2, 2016 pending approval of the administrative rule that will allow the Department to charge an admission fee at the main museum campus.

The administrative rule is on the agenda for the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) meeting to be held June 14. With approval, the museum will be able to open about two weeks later. Initially, the Illinois State Museum in Springfield, Dickson Mounds Museum near Lewistown and the Research and Collections Center in Springfield will officially open July 2. The IDNR continues to work with stakeholders in communities where other Illinois State Museum branches are located in hopes of securing partnerships that would allow those branches to open.

“IDNR has been working steadily through the JCAR process to establish the administrative rule to set an admission fee,” said IDNR Director Wayne Rosenthal. “By setting the admission fee, working closely with the Illinois State Museum Board and Illinois State Museum Society, we feel we are setting the Museum on a more sustainable path for the future.”

The administrative rule authorizes the Department to establish an admission fee for the Springfield campus of $5 for adults. Children under 18, seniors and veterans will be admitted free. The admission fee is part of a greater effort to diversify the sources of funding for the museum.

Check back regularly for updates or e-mail Thank you for your support.


The Research and Collections Center holds the Museum's many natural history and decorative arts collections. There are also laboratories, the Mastodon Factory, GIS Lab, curators' offices, and the Technology Learning Center. The RCC is a 97,000 square-foot facility dedicated to collections care, research, and education. It is a bank with an investment for the future. It fulfills the ISM's mission of collecting, studying, and interpreting objects that represent the natural history, anthropology, and art of Illinois. It provides state-of-the-art space to care for and study important scientific and art collections, as well as laboratories and special program spaces for Museum scientists, artists, and educators. The RCC houses the vast collections that range in size from the microscopic to the colossal--from pollen grains to mastodon fossils.

The diverse collections include artifacts, fossils, biologic specimens, works of art, records, and databases. The rocks, minerals, and fossil plants and animals, and their contemporary counterparts, permanently record the evolution of Illinois climates, landscapes, plants, and animals. Finely-crafted tools, ornaments, and works of art illustrate the rich cultural history from the cultures of the prehistoric American Indians who thrived in this region for over 10,000 years, to the early French explorers of the seventeenth century, to the settlers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to the culturally diverse societies of today.

The collections and educational resources in the RCC provide the basis for learning experiences that surpass those available in the traditional classroom and other formal settings. They permit first-hand observation of the tangible evidence for natural and cultural change and diversity. They are studied by students and scholars from a wide variety of disciplines.

Public Programs are held in the RCC, including Brown Bag lectures and the monthly Paul Mickey Science Series Lecture.

Visits to the RCC must be prearranged. Please call (217) 785-0037 to schedule a tour.

  New Philadelphia Archaeological Investigations   

New Philadelphia Archaeological Investigations posted July 15, 2005
Nine undergraduate students, one undergraduate volunteer, and three graduate student assistants on the NSF-REU crew and 14 undergraduate students and two graduate student field assistants in the UIUC archaeological field school are participating in the summer program at the New Philadelphia site. Read more ...


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