Through everything from sloth bones and bird songs to political documents and historic maps, the UI’s Pentacrest Museums—which consist of the Museum of Natural History and Old Capitol Museum—bring the past vividly to life for scholars and schoolchildren alike.
Founded in 1858 by a legislative resolution of the state’s General Assembly, the University of Iowa Museum of Natural History is the oldest university museum—and second-oldest museum of any kind—west of the Mississippi River. Many of the museum’s collections rank among those of the top museums in North America.
For more than 150 years, Old Capitol has represented the pioneering spirit of Iowa and the University of Iowa. The last capitol of the Iowa territory, it served as Iowa’s first state capitol from 1846 to 1857. When the state government moved to Des Moines in 1857, Old Capitol served as the university’s first building and the founding place of many departments.
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