Museum Facts

Mission

The University of Michigan Museum of Natural History promotes understanding and appreciation of the natural world and our place in it.  We create exhibits and programs that inspire diverse audiences to engage in exploration of scientific research and discovery. 

Vision

Our vision is to be the hub for science outreach at the University of Michigan and a dynamic community forum, facilitating active participation and promoting the public understanding of science. 

Attendance

135,000+, including about 20,000 school children in groups

Audience

School children, families, University students and faculty, alumni, tourists, general visitors

Accessibility

Free admission. (Fees apply for groups and Planetarium shows.)  Open 357 days per year. Accessible facility.

Exhibits

Permanent exhibits on dinosaurs and other prehistoric life, Michigan wildlife, anthropology, geology, changing temporary exhibits, and a Planetarium.

Programs

  • Tours for school groups (400-600 groups/year)
  • Planetarium shows for scheduled groups and the public
  • Summer camp
  • School field trip programs
  • Science Cafés
  • Lectures, panel discussions, demonstrations
  • Teacher training workshops
  • Discovery Days
  • ID Day
  • Behind the Scenes Day
  • Family Reading and Science
  • Science for Tomorrow
  • Family Halloween party
  • Exhibit openings
  • Preschool programs
  • Dinosaur and space birthday parties

Budget

$900,000+, of which approximately half is earned or raised by the Museum

History

  • U-M Museum of Natural History founded in 1878
  • Ruthven Museums Building completed in 1928
  • Exhibit Museum formally established in 1956
  • The Museum changed its name from "The Exhibit Museum of Natural History" to the "University of Michigan Museum of Natural History" in 2012.

Purpose

Exhibits and education (not collecting or research)

Governance

A unit of the University of Michigan's College of Literature, Science & the Arts

Facility

18,000 square feet of exhibit space in a building shared with three research museums (Anthropology, Zoology, Paleontology)

Staff

11 full-time staff, 40-50 paid student docents

Tax status

501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization