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Illinois State Museum Collections

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 stored at the Illinois State Museum, ISM-Research and Collections Center, and ISM-Dickson Mounds. The links below lead to additional information on each collection along with links to online collections content.

ISM-Research & Collections Ctr
1011 East Ash Street
Springfield, IL 62703

(217) 785-0037

Hours: By Appointment Only

Closed: All State Holidays

Admission: FREE
Open to public only during programs or by appointment. 


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 Art 

The fine arts collection documents the progression and history of art in Illinois. It is the only such public collection 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 collection contains more than 18,000 objects that enhance understanding of the quality of life in Illinois from pre-statehood to today. The collection has particularly strong holdings of textiles and women's handcrafts.

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.