Welcome to ISM-Research & Collections Center


The Illinois State Museum System will reopen our flagship facility and Research and Collections Center in Springfield, and the Dickson Mounds Museum in Lewistown effective Tuesday, January 26, 2021. The ISM Lockport Gallery in Lockport remains closed under Tier 3 mitigations for the northern region of the State. The Illinois State Museum will continue to offer free admission across all locations. Hours of operations are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except for the Research and Collections Center, which will operate by appointment only Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. 

The Research and Collections Center is a 97,000 square-foot facility dedicated to collections care, research, and education. It is a bank that holds over 14.5 million objects as an investment for the future. The RCC houses the vast collections that range in size from the microscopic pollen grains to colossal mastodon fossils. Within its walls, the Illinois State Museum's mission of collecting, studying, and interpreting objects that represent the natural history, anthropology, and art of Illinois is fulfilled. It provides state-of-the-art space to care for and study collections, as well as laboratories and special program spaces for Museum scientists, artists, and educators.

Visits to the RCC must be prearranged. Please call to schedule a visit.

In order to promote the safety of our visitors, and in compliance with State guidelines, all visitors (over age two who can medically tolerate a mask) will be required to wear a face covering at all times. All masks must be made from a solid material, preferably with more than one layer, and cannot have exhalation valves or vents. All visitors have their temperature taken (contactless) and answer a few health questions before entry.

At this time the ISM is developing a human remains policy and we anticipate board review and approval in 2021. This policy will provide guidance for research requests and demonstrate a sustained commitment to the return of Indigenous ancestors. While we are working on this policy, research requests that impact NAGPRA-eligible individuals and objects will be deferred until a policy is in place. This may include but is not limited to all requests to conduct destructive analysis and requests to publish results from the same and requests for photos and drawings of burials. We anticipate additional, culturally-sensitive requests and those will be handled on a case-by-case basis until a policy is in place. We encourage you to work directly with Indigenous leaders and culture keepers. 

Visitor Information
1011 E. Ash Street
(217) 785-0037

Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00-4
By Appointment Only
Closed: All State holidays.
Directions / Parking
Map to ISM Research & Collections Center
Click here to learn more about the Illinois State Museum Research program.
Click here to learn more about the Illinois State Museum collections.

No events are scheduled at this time. Check back for updates.

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