The University of Oregon's Museum of Natural and Cultural History protects significant collections, enhances knowledge, and encourages stewardship of human and natural history through research, preservation, and education.
Welcome to the Museum of Natural and Cultural History, where 15,000 years of human history and 200 million years of geology are at your fingertips.
Museums are places of wonder, essential to the cultural fabric of modern human societies. A good museum is cherished by the communities it serves, a center of research and education, a magnet for tourists and other visitors, a purveyor of history and knowledge to the broadest possible audience, and the protector of our common cultural heritage.
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History (MNCH) is Oregon's primary repository for anthropological and paleontological collections. Officially created in 1935-36, as the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology and UO Museum of Natural History, the museum is celebrating its 75th birthday in 2010-11. It has its roots in 1876, however, when Thomas Condon joined the University of Oregon (UO) as one of its first three professors. Hired as a professor of natural history, Condon brought an extensive fossil collection to the UO, later known as the Condon Museum or Condon Collection. Today, as the premier natural and cultural history museum in the State of Oregon, the MNCH houses nearly 1 million ethnographic and archaeological objects and almost 100,000 fossils and biological specimens from Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and around the world. Samplings of these collections are available in our web galleries. With over 50 employees, the museum is a center of interdisciplinary research, preservation, and education.
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History was established in 1936 by the Oregon Legislative Assembly to incorporate several existing collections at the University of Oregon:
Building on this legacy, the museum continues to pursue research in archaeology, anthropology and paleontology and expand its collections in these fields. The zoology holdings serve as comparative collections for study, reference, and exhibition.
The museum offers a variety of educational programs and events for K-12 students and teachers, families, community members, and UO faculty, students, and staff.