Exploring Michigan’s Past Through Local Museums

With all this talk of blizzards and snow, it’s hard to not look forward to this coming summer and future archaeological work (check out our 2015 MSU Field School). Until then, you can still get your history and archaeology fix by visiting and supporting local museums. Here are just a few of the many museums that focus on Michigan’s past.


The Michigan Historical Museum (www.michigan.gov/museum)

The Museum focuses on the history of Michigan, beginning with prehistoric groups and European contact and settlement. The state’s impact on industrial and manufacturing, especially during the Civil War and in automobile industry are also highlighted.

The Michigan Historical Museum is open:

Monday through Friday, 9 to 4:30
Saturday, 10 to 4
Sunday, 1 to 5

Adults (18+) – $6
Seniors (65+) – $4
Youth (6-17) – $2
Children up to 5 years – Free


The Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame (http://www.michiganwomenshalloffame.org)

Womens hall fame
Image source: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_d3gXo1oc4tY/TA9m7xzybrI/AAAAAAAABVE/sv1YL6L1CAQ/s1600/women+hall+fame.jpeg

The Center focuses on important women in Michigan’s history and was the first in the nation to be solely dedicated to women’s history. The museum was established by the Michigan Women’s Studies Association, which was originally founded at Michigan State University in the early 1970s. The focus of the museum is on women in Michigan to highlight their accomplishments. Current exhibits focus on Michigan women who were involved in the Civil Rights Movement, including Rosa Parks, and Michigan Women who played important roles in the Civil War by taking on roles that were typically assigned to men.


The Museum is open:
Wednesday through Saturday, 12pm to 4pm
The first Sunday of every month, 2pm to 4pm

Adults – $2.50
Seniors – $2
Students (6-18 years) – $1
Children up to 5 years – Free


MSU Museum (www.museum.msu.edu)


MSU museum dinosaurs
Image source: http://museum.msu.edu/sites/default/files/images/dinos300px.jpg

The MSU Museum is Michigan’s first Smithsonian Institution affiliate, with multiple exhibits that include natural history, archaeology, and cultural heritage. Darwin Discovery Day taking place on Sunday, February 8 from 1 to 5 is also a place where children can take part in hands-on activities, including live reptiles and insects. The Department of Anthropology will also have a booth that will focus on human evolution. The event is free to everyone.


The MSU Museum is open:

Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm
Saturday, 10am to 5pm
Sunday, 1pm to 5pm

Admission to the Museum is free, with a suggested donation of $5.00 for adults.



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