An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Museum Exhibits

Exhibits at the Idaho State Historical Museum

Exciting changes are coming for the Idaho Historical Museum! Get ready to enjoy a whole new experience as the Museum expands to provide more exhibits, more artifacts on display, and more activities for school groups and families. The Museum closed for an extensive three year renovation and expansion on August 4, 2014.

Permanent Exhibits 

Treat yourself to a visit to the Idaho State Historical Museum and experience the rich cultural heritage of the unique place that is Idaho. Learn the state’s story through objects, photographs, and first-person accounts the museum has carefully preserved for generations. Extensive collections of artifacts and interactive exhibits vividly bring to life Idaho’s past for visitors of all ages.  Children will enjoy trying out a variety of saddles, touching an actual hydraulic “giant” mining nozzle, and taking a virtual tour of the Oregon Trail in Idaho.  Exhibits dramatically convey the differences between daily life in Idaho “then” and now.

The Story of Idaho

Discover how Idaho’s diverse landscape, powerful economic forces, and strong people shaped the state we know today. Rich in the actual objects of the past, some of them thousands of years old, The Story of Idaho takes visitors through the times of Idaho's first residents, missionaries, and fur traders. See how the 1860s gold rush created Idaho Territory, and how pioneer settlement, logging, and farming changed the state’s landscape forever. 

Lewis and Clark

The Journey in Idaho traces the voyage of the famous explorers across the West from 1804 to 1806.   Learn about the Nez Perce and Shoshoni Indians
who helped Lewis and Clark on their journey through Idaho.  See a rare, original Jefferson peace medal from the expedition and examples of wildlife the explorers named for science. Climb aboard a dugout canoe and then take a quiz to see if you can match samples of fur with the wild animals they came from. 

Journey to the Gold Mountain

During the American gold rush, many people crossed the Pacific Ocean from China to try to make their fortunes in the Idaho gold fields.  Journey to the Gold Mountain: The Chinese in Idaho sheds light on the story of Idaho's early Chinese residents, how they made a living, and the difficulties they faced. 
Immerse yourself in the past in the museum’s Hall of Historic Interiors.  Richly detailed room settings transport visitors back in time to a frontier saloon, 1860s print shop, and many others.

Pioneer Village

Enjoy history in the great outdoors with a stroll through the newly renovated and landscaped Pioneer Village next to the museum. Three of the buildings are from Idaho's territorial days and served as homes for prominent local citizens. Learn about centuries-old building techniques, relax a moment in the Lewis and Clark Pavilion, and explore hands-on activities in the lushly landscaped Discovery Trail.  For more information contact (208) 334-2120.

Featured Exhibition

Events to Attend