An extraordinary system of cultural and historical resources.

Museum History

The History of the Idaho State Museum

Director Jerry Swinney, ca 1960.

Photo Credit: ISHS

Located in downtown Boise's Julia Davis Park, the Idaho State Museum is the official museum of Idaho's history.  As early as 1893, the collections of the Idaho State Historical Society were on view in a variety of locations, including Boise City Hall, the Carnegie Library, and the Idaho State Capitol.  The Idaho Legislature authorized a new facility in 1939 and the original Idaho State Historical Museum building was completed in 1950.  A 1983 expansion provided vital exhibition and programming space.  In 2011, the Pioneer Village outdoor exhibition campus was completed.

The Idaho State Museum illuminates Idaho’s history and provides stewardship for over 50,000 artifacts.  The museum was the first in Idaho and one of the first western museums to be accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1972.