New York

United States

Cultural Education Center, Albany,

Phone: (518) 474-5877

New York State Museum

Our history of inquiry, discovery, and education began in 1836 when we were established as the State Geological and Natural History Survey. Over the years, we have grown into a major research and an educational institution dedicated to preserving New York's rich artistic, social, historical, and environmental legacies under the leadership of the New York State Education Department. Our mission is two-fold:

To promote inquiry and advance knowledge in the fields of geology, biology, anthropology, and history through the investigation of material evidence germane to New York State's past, present and future,

To share this knowledge through exhibits and other means with wide and diverse audiences, whom we encourage to take delight in learning by participating in the discovery processes central to our work.

Mission Statement

The New York State Museum is a major research and educational institution. It is dedicated to promoting inquiry and advancing knowledge in the fields of geology, biology, anthropology, and history, through the investigation of material evidence germane to New York State's past, present and future. The Museum shares this knowledge through exhibits and other means with wide and diverse audiences. It encourages these audiences to take delight in learning by participating in the discovery process central to its work.

Vision Statement

"Provide leadership in the translation, interpretation and explanation of the history and evolution of New York State's land and inhabitants so as to create excitement in discovery and learning."

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 Permanent Collection Highlights (13)

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Permanent Collection

Researchers throughout the world use the collections of the New York State Museum to address questions about New York's natural and human heritage. The collections represent baseline data that help resource managers make decisions that have a direct impact on the economic and public well-being of the State, for example, locations of natural resources, assessments of environmental impacts, historic preservation, development and impacts of disease, and environmental changes.

Additionally, the collections are an integral element of the Museum's exhibitions and public programs. Participation in Museum collections curation is possible through internships and volunteer opportunities.


The Museum offers approximately 12 new exhibitions each year on a wide range of subjects. Exhibitions are often developed with our own extensive collections or traveled from renowned museums across the country.

Forthcoming exhibitions


The NYS Museum is free. Donations are accepted at the door.
The Carousel is free. Donations are accepted.

Opening hours

Daily from 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day

Getting there

Cultural Education Center of the Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY
On Madison Avenue, across the Plaza from the State Capitol Building.



The New York State Museum Gift Shop is located on the first floor of the Museum and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. (518) 449-7860

Parking is free after 2:30 p.m. weekdays and all day on weekends.

The Gift Shop at the New York State Museum are more than just a stop for unique gifts, great reproductions, quality Museum publications, New York State regional books and food products, beautiful New York State handicrafts, and exquisite jewelry. You'll also find products developed directly from the Museum's own collections, as well as educational children's items.

Profits from the Museum Shop advance and support the Museum's mission of education, research, exhibit production, publications, and collections conservation and acquisition. The purpose of the Museum Shop is to extend and enhance the learning at the New York State Museum.

From Shaker baskets to birdhouses, a wide selection of merchandise is available that Museum's programs and exhibits. You can choose from a variety of Adirondack Wilderness items such as walking sticks, woodland puppets, birch bark canoes and baskets, candles, pottery, Adirondack guides to hiking, biking and nature, and reproductions of Adirondack paintings. From the Native Peoples of New York Hall and the Governor's Collection of Native American Crafts, you can select authentic baskets, jewelry, crafts, and books on Native Americans. New York Metropolis features books about New York City and items reflecting Harlem in the 1920s--cards and prints by Jacob Lawrence and William Johnson, tapes and CDs of jazz classics and performers including Louis Armstrong, classic bo...+ [ Read all ]

Museum internal and external photos (1)

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News and events

Calendar of Events:

Press Releases


The New York State Museum proudly maintains its place as the nation’s oldest and largest state museum because of the generous support of its members, friends, and sponsors. Generous support is the difference between a good museum and a great museum.

Donors who wish to support the New York State Museum do so through the New York State Museum Institute, a private not-for-profit educational corporation organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code.

Contact email:
phone: (518) 486-2992
fax: (518) 486-5657
write: New York State Museum Membership
Third Floor Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230


The New York State Museum is a vitally important resource for the people and businesses of our region and the entire State, please support the programs, education and research of the New York State Museum. Your support will be very important and greatly appreciated. Thank you very much.

Gift levels include:

Founders’ Circle ($1,000 and up)
Director’s Circle ($ 500 - $ 999)
Curators’ Circle ($ 250 - $ 499)
Advocates’ Circle ($ 100 - $ 249)
Supporters’ Circle (up to $ 99)

Matching Gifts

Many businesses and corporations offer a matching gifts program to their employees who contribute to not-for-profit organizations. Your Annual Fund donation or Museum Associates membership contribution to the New York State Museum Institute could be worth twice as much! Some area businesses with matching gifts programs are AT&T, Bell Atlantic, General Electric, HSBC Bank USA, IBM, KeyBank, Niagara Mohawk, and United Technologies.

Please contact your employer to find out if your contributions are eligible to be matched, and how to apply. Please notify the Museum Institute office at (518) 474-5801 if your employer matches gifts and has not been included in the above list. Thank you for your continued support.
Corporate Contributions

The business community serves as a strong and dependable partner to the Museum through the Corporate Partners Program. Corporate partners gain exposure to a significant market for their companies; just under 1 million visitors to the Museum each year see the names of the Corporate Partners prominently displayed in Museum Lobby. Senior executives from Corporate Partner firms have opportunities to meet other corporate leade...+ [ Read all ]

Venue hire

The New York State Museum has several facilities available for rent by civic, business, community and other non-profit or private organizations. Fees for rental of Museum facilities are reviewed periodically and are available from our Office of Facility Use.

Because of the uniqueness of our collection and our facility, the Museum does not allow any activity or event that may result in damage or disturbance to the collection or facility. Events that may interfere with public use during business hours are prohibited. All activities, events or entertainment at the Museum must be appropriate for the facility and be approved in advance by the museum. At all times, Museum programs and activities have priority of use. The Museum reserves the sole right to determine appropriate use.

The first and fourth floor galleries, members lounge, meeting rooms, theaters and lobby are available for use by approved groups, organizations and businesses when the Museum is closed or when there is no conflicting Museum activity. Groups eligible to rent Museum facility include;

Non-profit or public agencies whose purposes are consistent with those of the Museum and help further the mission of the Museum
Businesses that are members of the Museum corporate membership program at the level appropriate to receive rental privileges (currently $5,000 annually)