Elgin Public Museum
The Elgin Public Museum is one of the oldest museums in Illinois, founded in 1855. Today, it’s not just a place for visitors to see artifacts from the past—it’s also a place where people can learn about the natural world and how humans fit into it. Over 120 years later, it’s still a valuable resource for locals and tourists alike. The Elgin Public Museum houses over two million artifacts from all eras of human history. It has extensive research collections and hundreds of thousands of specimens on display. There are more than eight thousand square feet dedicated to the natural history department alone—and that’s just one part of the museum! You can visit the museum at 225 Grand Blvd, Elgin, IL 60120.
History of the Public Museum in Elgin, Illinois
In 1855, the city of Elgin founded the Public Museum, which is still open to the public today. It was originally housed in an old church, but in 1875, it moved to a new building on the same site. The museum expanded over the years, and it now houses over two million artifacts from all eras of human history. It has extensive research collections and more than 800,000 specimens on display. There are more than eight thousand square feet dedicated to the natural history department alone—and that’s just one part of the museum! The Elgin Public Museum is a state-designated Historic Site and a member of the Association of State Public History Museums. The museum focuses on educating the public on the natural world, and hosts over 20 educational programs per year. It also works with schools and local groups to offer programs and workshops on a variety of subjects. Next article
What You Can See at the Elgin Public Museum Today
The Elgin Public Museum houses over two million artifacts from all eras of human history. It has extensive research collections and hundreds of thousands of specimens on display. There are more than eight thousand square feet dedicated to the natural history department alone—and that’s just one part of the museum! The museum hosts nine permanent exhibits, and there are more than one hundred temporary exhibits every year. The museum also features many educational programs and events, such as field trips and lectures. The museum’s permanent exhibits explore the history of Elgin and Illinois and how people lived in the past. The Free Enterprise: Industrial Revolution in Elgin exhibit is a good example of this. This exhibit looks at the era from the mid-18th century to the mid-19th century, when the city became an industrial powerhouse. The exhibit features lots of artifacts, including photos and posters about the city at the time. These artifacts give visitors a good idea of what it was like to live in Elgin when the Industrial Revolution was happening.
Research Collections and Specimens at the Elgin Public Museum
The Elgin Public Museum has extensive research collections, with over one million cataloged items. These items include books, maps, photographs, manuscripts, newspapers, and much more. The museum also has hundreds of thousands of specimens, including birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, insects, and fossils. These specimens are used for research, and are available to researchers from all over the world. For example, researchers study the ecology of aquatic organisms at the Illinois State Aquatic Biology Laboratory, which is housed at the Public Museum. Researchers also study climate change and how ecosystems are affected by human activity. Researchers at the Public Museum are working to understand the effects of climate change on ecosystems. Additional info
Gallery of Exhibits at the Elgin Public Museum
The Public Museum features a series of permanent and temporary galleries. Some of these exhibit themes, such as the Archives and History gallery, which features artifacts from the city’s history. The Public History gallery highlights the museum’s educational programming. Other galleries explore natural sciences, architecture, and more. The museum also hosts a number of special events, including the Great Eats of Illinois: A Collection of Favorite Recipes, Dishes, and Memories exhibit. This exhibit features a collection of recipes and memorabilia collected by the Elgin Public Museum’s volunteers.
From the halls of the past to the ecosystem of the present, the Elgin Public Museum continues to be a valued resource for those interested in learning more about the natural world. Visitors can learn about Elgin’s history in the Free Enterprise: Industrial Revolution in Elgin exhibit, explore the world of natural sciences in the Science of Life gallery, and discover how people lived in the past in the Public History gallery. The Public Museum also hosts a variety of educational programs and events, including field trips and lectures. Visitors can plan their trip to the Public Museum to experience exhibits based on their interests and preferences. There are also plenty of ways for families to get involved, from the Gallery of Exhibits to the Great Eats of Illinois: A Collection of Favorite Recipes, Dishes, and Memories exhibit. With so much to see and do at the Public Museum, there’s always something new to learn and experience.