Collecting Areas

The American Collection

In 1925 when the museum first appealed to the public for donations to form a collection, people gave dolls, quilts, toys, tools, chairs—a wide assortment of objects. Eventually, though, the museum became more selective about what it accepted and more...


World Cultures Collection

There was a time when arrowheads were easy to find in fields throughout Indiana (after all, the name literally means “land of Indians”). As a result a lot of people collected them—and when the museum’s founders asked for items to...


Natural Science Collection

The first object anyone donated to the museum was a porcupine fish, mounted on a board. Others gave rocks, geodes, insects, plants, feathers, hides, claws, bones. Those were the things that made up the museum’s early natural science collection.