The Illinois State Museum's extensive collections can be seen in both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Permanent exhibitions are always available, while temporary exhibitions rotate every few months.

The Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum at ISM Springfield.
The Play Museum is a free children's area at the Illinois State Museum-Springfield. Load a jeep; crawl through a cave; dig for fossils; put together a baby mastodont puzzle; frame art; explore collections of fossils, insects, artifacts; and toys; and play museum!

Freshwater mussels have lived in North America since the Age of the Dinosaurs – more than 200 million years. In the 1890s, a German immigrant invented a new use for mussels that launched an industry – pearl buttons.