The Illinois State Museum maintains collections of art, history, anthropology, and natural history which are critical resources to its education, research, publication, and exhibition programs. The Museum collections focus on the Midwestern U.S. with an emphasis on Illinois.
The Museum’s collections are held at the Illinois State Museum, Research and Collections Center, and Dickson Mounds Museum. The links below lead to additional information on each collection along with links to online collections content.
Research & Collections Center
Springfield, IL 62703
Closed: New Year's Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
- The anthropology collection consists of more than 8 million archaeological specimens and ethnographic objects. It is among the most extensive in the United States.
- Fine and Decorative Arts
- The fine arts collection documents the progression and history of art in Illinois. It is the only such public collection in Illinois. The decorative arts collection contains more than 14,000 aesthetic and historical objects that enhance understanding of the quality of life in Illinois.
- The botanical collection includes more than 111,000 botanical specimens that are housed in the herbarium. The Museum has one of the largest collections of Illinois flora in the state.
- The geology collection contains over 200,00 specimens, including 60 type and figured invertebrates, 6 fish types, and over 600 type and figured plant fossils.
- The history collections include interdisciplinary collections that cut across the departments of art, anthropology, library and archives, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and natural sciences.
- Library and Archives
- The rich and diverse library collection contains more than 15,000 monographs and 800 serials. Additional materials include rare books, archives and manuscript collections.
- The zoology collection contains over 140,000 specimens representing mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and mollusks.