United States

1680 East 15th Ave

Phone: 541-346-3024

Museum Of Natural & Cultural History, University Of Oregon

The University of Oregon Museum of Natural History was established to further the general mission of the University by enhancing public knowledge of the natural history and anthropology of Oregon and the broader world.

This is accomplished by:

* Preserving objects illustrative of and significant to that natural history.
* Contributing to knowledge by promoting and facilitating research in appropriate fields.
* Providing access to this knowledge for the Oregon public, through furtherance both of formal instruction in the campus setting and of public education outside the boundaries of the University's curriculum.

We keep our mission in mind in everything that we do.

 Permanent Collection Highlights (3)

 Click on the images to enlarge

Permanent Collection

The museum holds one of Oregon's most significant collections of Native American cultural and archaeological artifacts, spanning 15,000 years. Hand-crafted items, including textiles, musical instruments, weapons, and other objects representing traditional technologies and everyday life also come from southeast Asia, the Philippines, Africa, Oceania (in particular, New Guinea) and Africa (including Ethiopia, Mozambique, and Congo). Altogether, these collections comprise more than half a million objects.

Among the museum's holdings are items discovered by Dr. Thomas Condon – the founding father of Oregon geology – during his 19th and 20th century explorations of the John Day region, as well as by pioneering archaeologist Dr. Luther Cressman during his early 20th century desert cave excavations. Renowned museum artifacts include a famed cache of 10,000-year-old sagebrush bark sandals, extensive fossil collections, and several hundred western Indian baskets made before 1900.

Museum collections continue to grow through ongoing excavation and recovery work done by the Research Division and other archaeologists and agencies throughout the state, and through the private donations of museum supporters. In fact, the museum has been Oregon’s main center for the safekeeping of archaeological and cultural evidence produced as a result of dam and highway construction. In addition, the Collections Division – guided by important legislation – collaborates with Oregon Indian tribes on the investigation of history, the repatriation of human remains, and the preservation of important heritage sites.

Native Basket

With such vast collections, the muse...+ [ Read all ]


Oregon - Where Past is Present - Permanent Exhibit

Scientific at the Core - Permanent Exhibit

Oregon, from the Pacific Crest Trail—Photographs by Edward J. Pabor
Showing in the hallway gallery, Friday, March 2, through Sunday, June 24

Previous Exhibitions

Light and Color
January 31–April 29, 2007

Exhibitions (5)

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Admission information for exhibits, no fee to visit the museum store:

General Admission - $3
Seniors (62+) - $2
Youth (3-18) - $2
Families (2 adults and up to 4 youth) - $8
Children (2 and under) - FREE

MNCH Members, UO Students, Faculty, and Staff, and ASTC Members; FREE admission with ID.
FREE admisison to the public each Wednesday.

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at University of Oregon has partnered with this museum to offer visitors reduced admission rates. Bring your receipt issued from one of the museums to the other within forty-eight hours of your visit and receive $1 off the price of admission.

Opening hours

Public hours for exhibits and for the museum store, Past and Presents, are Wednesday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Getting there

Parking is available with a permit from the admission desk.

Museum internal and external photos (4)

Click on the images to enlarge

News and events


Exhibit Opening and Fishy Family Friday Activity Evening Friday, May 11, 5:30 - 7:00 P.M.
View the new exhibit Tricking Fish: How and Why Lures Work and join the fun at the museum as families learn together about the underwater world of fish. Cast a line, tie a fly, and make your own stuffed fish to take home! Admission: $3 individual $5 families with MNCH members admitted free.

Day Hike with Photographer Edward Pabor Saturday, June 2, 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Meet expert hiker and photographer Edward Pabor at the MNCH to go on a day hike along the Pacific Crest Trail. The six to eight mile round trip hike co-sponsored by UO Outdoor Program, offers stunning views and instruction on capturing great photos. At the museum view Oregon , from the Pacific Crest Trail, photography and journal entries by the artist through June 24, 2007. Space for the hike is limited, pre-register with the UO Outdoor Program, (541) 346-4365. Fee: $12.00 per person, or $10 each for UO affiliates, museum and UO Outdoor Program members

20th Year Celebration for the museum building Friday, June 15, Saturday, June 16 and Sunday June 17
Where have you been the past 20 years? If you haven't been to the museum lately, you haven't experienced all the changes. Twenty years ago the new building opened and this weekend we welcome new and old friends of the museum for a building celebration. See what's new in exhibits, programs and events, and view what's old! Shop the museum store Past and Presents, have some celebration cake on Friday and enjoy FREE admission all weekend.

Raft the Deschutes with Friends Monday, June 18 through Thursday, June 21
This three day whitewater adventure begi...+ [ Read all ]


Amazing Adventures

Tours Recommended for Second Through Fifth Grade Students

Archaeology Detectives

What's an atlatl? Why was cedar so important? Students answer these questions and more when they learn about the diverse cultures of Oregon Native Americans during this hands-on tour. Investigate artifacts and hypothesize how items may have been used by people long ago. Observation and discussion uncover clues about Oregon cultures.

Geology Rocks!

Learn how Crater Lake formed, handle fossils from prehistoric times, and see some of the coolest rocks from around Oregon. Kids will love this tour and activity, which includes the trivia game Geology Genius, designed to engage students in uncovering the formation of Oregon's unique landscape.
Technology and Time

Explore the technology of the past, including hunting implements, weaving techniques, and agricultural inventions. Students will explore similarities and differences between today's technology and that of thousands of years ago. Choose basket twining, cordage-making, or artifact investigation as a hands-on activity included in the tour.

Teen Tours

Recommended for sixth through twelfth grade students

Cultural Scene Investigation

What does it take to be an archaeologist? This tour and activity focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of archaeology and engages students in math, science, and art as they observe and record data about artifacts. Students participate in a tour of the exhibits, led by a knowledgeable guide, and become experts in their own topic areas.

Humans and Environmental Change

How has Oregon's landscape chang...+ [ Read all ]



Recommended for kindergarten through second grade students

Animal Wild

How big is a whale's vertebra? What does a lion look like without any skin? Kids find out when they handle real bones and use critical thinking to compare animals from the inside out. Students also “spy” camouflaged reptiles, birds, and rodents in environmental displays and learn traditional uses for them.

Food and Family

Harvest “camas” and collect “rocks” to build an “oven” that cooks a favorite food of people in Oregon for hundreds of years. Kids discuss colorful dioramas and participate in hands-on activities to learn what people ate and who in the family hunted, fished, and gathered different foods.

Living Legends

Fierce bears, tricky ravens, and determined salmon are a few of the totems children will learn about on this tour of Native American culture, past and present. Listen to the traditional story Storm Boy and don capes like the book's characters.


For students, the museum offers various programs that explore archaeology and science. Museum tours can be tailored to the specific needs of classes, clubs, and other groups.


Adult Groups

Oregon-Where Past is Present
Re-creates sights and sounds, and landscapes of four geographic regions in Oregon: the Great Basin, the Columbia Plateau, the Coast, and the Western Valleys. Large-scale murals blend into three-dimensional foregrounds that set the stage for stories, artifacts, and specimens that bring to life Oregon's geologic past and 15,000 years of pacific Northwest cultural history.

Museum exhibit hall

Scientific at the Core
Scientific at the Core is an interactive laboratory with hands-on inquiry-based activities for visitors of all ages. The lab's theme, "Think Like a Scientist," helps visitors understand the research methods.


Become a member of the University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History and reap these rewards..

* FREE admission to the museum exhibits
* Guest passes to share with family and friends
* Advance notice of exhibits and events
* Fieldnotes, our quarterly newsletter
* Invitation to members-only exhibit openings and receptions
* Special prices for Friends of the Museum sponsored field trips
* Discounted shopping at Past & Presents, the museum store
* Discounted admission to Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at UO

Membership to ASTC (Association of Science and Technology Centers) that includes free or discount prices to over 200 museums worldwide!

An opportunity for your annual donation to help support public programs such as the Winter Solstice Celebration held the last Friday before holiday break each year and Identification Day held each spring. If you would like, make a donation to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History through the UO Foundation., it's a convenient way to support the museum and programs.

While a UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History Membership provides a number of benefits, it is very affordable and renewable with a reminder mailing from us each spring or winter.

Check out the annual membership costs listed below.

* Individual membership = $40
* Family membership = $50
* Supporter membership = $100
* Director's membership = $500+