Illinois State Museum (ISM) - Land, Life, People & Art.

J.B. Pritzker, Governor
ISM System
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ISM Programs

  Educational Programs   

The Museum has a comprehensive suite of school and public educational programming in place to educate the public about the natural history, anthropology, fine art, and decorative art of Illinois. The philosophy of the education program is multi-fold: to serve as an interpretive link to the Museum's exhibits and collections thus bringing these resources to life; to stimulate learning at all age levels - from preschoolers to Elderhostel participants; to cultivate a relationship with segments of the comm unity not traditionally served by museums; to share our educational resources, the expertise of our curators, the many objects in our collections, and other items with the broader education community of Illinois. Combined, the elements of this philosophy create a dynamic, audience-sensitive approach to educational programming.

Research Programs

Paleontological Excavation

Illinois State Museum researchers investigate the climate, landforms, plants, animals, and human cultures of the Midwestern United States with a special emphasis on Illinois. Research illuminates long-term changes in natural environments and human societ ies and provides interdisciplinary perspectives of the rich natural and cultural history of the state.


Living Museum Cover

The Illinois State Museum has an active publishing program that serves a wide audience, from scholars and researchers to the general public. Among our publications are:

  • Nontechnical, popular-science books on natural history, archaeology, and anthropology
  • Handbooks of collections that provide descriptive accounts of the ISM collections
  • Scientific, monograph-length reports of Museum-sponsored/related projects, of interest to scholars, students, and researchers
  • Exhibition catalogs featuring both images and narratives of artwork produced primarily by Illinois artists
  • General-interest books about the history, decorative arts, and material culture of Illinois and other titles that reflect the scope of our research and collections ranging from botany, zoology, geology, and paleontology to anthropology
  • Educational posters, brochures, and schedules of upcoming Museum events, activities, and programs

To request a catalog of our publications contact our