Sparking Interest and Preserving the Future

In 1871 the University of Nebraska State Museum was established as the state’s premier museum of natural history. The Museum’s mission is to discover and disseminated knowledge through education and research, information about the natural world.

It is here that residents and visitors of Lincoln Nebraska can partake in interactive exhibits that feature the past of Nebraska as well as its present biological diversity, and cultural heritage. In the area of 70,000 square feet on 4 levels, there are paleontological collections, like the iconic Elephant Hall and the largest articulated fossil Columbian mammoth and a collection of Nebraskan fossil elephants.

The interactive paleontology exhibits give visitors a hands-on experience with a Jurassic dinosaur gallery and observe iconic paleontology exhibits—visitors with additional opportunities to explore the Universe and where they fit in it. There are permanent galleries and multiple temporary exhibits year-round on various topics.

The museum is University-based for research with faculty-curators, staff and students that maintain the 13 million specimens, archeological and ethnographic objects. The collections included in this research are:

  • Anthropology
  • Botany
  • Entomology
  • Geology
  • Invertebrate Paleontology
  • Parasitology
  • Vertebrate Paleontology
  • Zoology

The University of Nebraska State Museum aspires to promote scientific understanding, inspire public stewardship of the cultural and natural heritage of the state from the innovative exhibits and programs. They hope to inspire K12 students toward a career in STEM and the related fields through connections with scientist and their research.

The University of Nebraska State Museum is proud to be home to a group of widely recognized authorities as our curatorial research faculty members. The major grants they win are a win for their fields as well as the university. It is here that we have almost 150 years of being a biodiversity repository for almost 150 years with 13 million or more artifacts and specimens from around the world.

It is because of the connections and staff we have here, that we encourage children of all ages to be curious and discover with scientific exploration. Our planetarium shows, gallery programs, and virtual field trips as well as school bus field trips that we can further encourage this among students, their parents and teachers and the world around them.  Even our self-guided tours are engaging and informative.

From Sensory Sundays to Pop In Story Time, the University of Nebraska State Museum is always focused on the future of this state and the country. However, we haven’t forgotten those 21 and older! With our Science Café, those that are 21 and up can enjoy us in a casual, educational and entertaining series where local craft beer bar is served in The Happy Raven every 4th Tuesday of the month.

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