In 1899, the Territorial Legislature of the future state of Oklahoma mandated the founding of a natural history museum on the campus of the University of the Territory of Oklahoma in Norman, now the University of Oklahoma. Since that time, the existing museum has had a long and distinguished history, acquiring over 7 million objects that belong to the people of the state of Oklahoma.
The curators and staff of the museum conduct scientific investigations to preserve and develop a greater understanding and appreciation of natural resources and human cultural heritage; they develop exhibitions and conduct educational programs that illustrate, interpret, and explain the natural history of the state and region to bring a greater understanding of our world to the people of Oklahoma and others.
On May 1, 2000, the museum opened its doors to a new century. Over 4 billion years of Oklahoma’s natural history can be seen in a 198,000 square foot facility. Five galleries feature thousands of artifacts in 50,000 square feet of exhibit space. Visitors can immerse themselves in the fascinating natural and cultural history of Oklahoma.