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Photo Slideshow

landscape painting by Kay Pick ZivkovichPink Thai HeaddressJeremy Crawford and studentsDire Wolf skull

Main Content

Photographs above: “Untitled” by Kay M. Pick Zivkovich, Pink Thai Headdress, Jeremy Crawford and students from Cobden High School, Dire Wolf skull


About Our Museum

First opened as a natural history museum in 1874, the University Museum at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has evolved into a teaching museum that represents the humanities, the sciences and the arts. While our focus is on southern Illinois, our humanities collection includes ethnographic materials that allow us to share the world with a diverse campus and a region that is isolated from urban centers. With roughly 70,000 objects in our care, the University Museum captures and illuminates the human story, opening a window on who we are and where we came from. 

Mission Statement

The University Museum, an educational institution within a larger institution, is committed to serving the Southern Illinois University campus community, the people of Southern Illinois, and visitors to our region. As a steward of Southern Illinois history and with an international collection, the Museum is a portal to understanding the local and world heritage that has made us who we are. We collect, preserve, research, exhibit, and educate using a diverse and engaging range of artifacts and educational methods on behalf of those we serve.  As a teaching museum, we offer hands-on opportunities in progressive museum practices and provide leadership to museums across the region. Using both our own collection and bringing in exhibitions and programs from outside, the Museum illuminates the connections between ourselves and the arts, humanities and sciences. 

  (Approved by the Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees, September 12, 2013)