Arkansas State University Museum - History and Facts | History Hit

Arkansas State University Museum

Jonesboro, Arkansas, United States

Arkansas State University Museum offers a range of exhibits looking at the natural history and cultural heritage of Northeast Arkansas.

Antara Bate

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Wikimedia CC Thomas R Machnitzki

About Arkansas State University Museum

Arkansas State University Museum, located on the Arkansas University campus, offers a range of exhibits and collections looking at the natural history and cultural heritage of Northeast Arkansas.

Arkansas State University Museum serves both the university and the general public. Permanent exhibits include Native American collections, early European exploration and settlement as well as collections from World War Two and the Vietnam War.

The museum also offers a number of relevant temporary exhibits, online exhibits and even iPod tours of Old Town Arkansas in English and Spanish.

Arkansas State University Museum history

Established in 1933, the museum examines the history of the state, stretching from pre-historic times to early European settlement and beyond. It was one of the first museums in the Southeast to be accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM), it is the largest and most comprehensive museum in northeast Arkansas.

When it first opened in 1933, the museum was called the Arkansas State College Historical Museum and was a creation of the Arkansas State College History Club.

In 1948, the museum was incorporated under the name Arkansas State Museum and Historic Library, and the first director, Sudie Barnett, was appointed.

Over time, the museum collection grew, with both strategic and opportunistic acquisitions.

The museum came into national recognition in 1973, when it was accredited by the AAM. As a prerequisite for accreditation, the ASU Board of Trustees legally recognized the museum as an integral part of the university and issued a statement of permanence on June 8, 1973.

Arkansas State University Museum today

The museum offers permanent exhibits, online exhibits and temporary exhibits. Admission is free to the public. Permanent exhibits feature fossils going back 300 million years ago, a fully articulated Mastodon skeleton replica based on actual bones found in Northeast Arkansas, prehistoric Native American life and culture, early settlement in Northeast Arkansas. There are also exhibits highlighting shops typical of regional towns dating 1880–1920, a military gallery, decorative arts, and more.

Getting to Arkansas State University Museum

ASU Museum is located on the A-State campus in Jonesboro in the west wing of the Dean B. Ellis Library building.

The Museum is best accessed by taking Aggie Road off Red Wolf Boulevard followed by a left on to University Loop East, and then continuing around the south perimeter of campus until you reach the south parking lot directly south of the Museum.