University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History

entrance to museum
The Museum of Natural and Cultural History on the campus of the University of Oregon in Eugene. (Oregon State Archives Photo)
Established in 1935 by the Oregon Legislature, the Museum of Natural and Cultural History is the state’s official repository for publicly owned anthropological and paleontological collections and home to hundreds of thousands of cultural objects, fossils and biological specimens. The museum is an engine of scientific research and education, serving the academic community, Native American tribes, students of all ages, visitors to Oregon and Lane County, and Oregonians around the state. 

The museum offers two signature exhibits: Explore Oregon is devoted to the state’s natural history and geology, featuring the sabertooth salmon and other paleontological wonders. 

Oregon—Where Past is Present showcases 15,000 years of cultural history in the state, including 10,000-year-old sandals recovered from Oregon’s Fort Rock Cave, as well as tools, coprolites and other items from the Paisley Caves, Oregon’s oldest cultural site. 

In addition to these permanent offerings, visitors to the museum enjoy a diverse program of rotating exhibits spanning the arts, cultural history and scientific research.

Engaging hands-on displays await visitors of all ages throughout the museum with touchscreen displays, a curation station and a variety of other interactives. Children especially enjoy digging at a simulated archaeological site, sporting lab coats while interpreting their finds. 

Located on the University of Oregon campus next to the Knight Law Center, the museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free on the 1st Friday of the month. An exhibit talk is offered each day at 2 p.m. and is included with the price of admission. Admission to the museum store is always free.


Jon Erlandson, Director
Address: 1680 E 15th Ave., Eugene 97403-1224
Phone: 541-346-3024
Fax: 541-346-5334