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 museum has had a long and distinguished history, including being designated as the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History in 1987 by the Oklahoma Legislature and receiving the state’s first National Medal in 2014 awarded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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 for all ages 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 Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History opened its doors to a new 198,000 square foot facility housing 12 collections, labs, libraries, offices and exhibit space. Today, the treasure chest design of the building’s architecture houses more than 10 million objects that belong to the people of the state of Oklahoma. Over 4 billion years of Oklahoma’s natural history are featured in thousands of artifacts from the collections on display in 50,000 feet of public galleries. Visitors can immerse themselves in the fascinating natural and cultural history of Oklahoma.
The Sam Noble Museum at The University of Oklahoma inspires minds to understand the world through collection-based research, interpretation and education.
As one of the finest museums, we are at the heart of our community, collectively working to inspire understanding, appreciation and stewardship of the earth and its peoples.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We are committed to achieving a diverse, equitable and inclusive community by embracing each person’s unique contributions, background and perspectives. We recognize that fostering an inclusive environment for all, with particular attention to the needs of historically marginalized populations, is vital to the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of our institutional mission. This view enhances the experience for all faculty and staff, students and for the communities and audiences that we engage.
Board of Visitors
Active Board Members:
|Reggie Whitten (Chair)||Edmond, Oklahoma|
|Brenda Jones Barwick||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Ryan Deligans||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Becky Franklin||Norman, Oklahoma|
|J. Ross Kirtley||Mustang, Oklahoma|
|Brad Mallett||Durant, Oklahoma|
|Tim Munson||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|David Nimmo||Norman, Oklahoma|
|Lars Noble||Tulsa, Oklahoma|
|Becky Samples||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Joseph Siano, Ph.D.||Norman, Oklahoma|
|Carolyn Taylor, Ph.D.||Claremore, Oklahoma|
|Zane Z. Woods||Yukon, Oklahoma|
|Daniel C. Swan, PhD||Norman, Oklahoma|