Official State of Iowa Website Here is how you know
State Historical Society of Iowa
Hollywood in the Heartland exhibit resembling old theatre marque

Museum Exhibits

Discover the stories of Iowa’s growth and development through exhibits displaying a rich collection of artifacts and documents.

  • Learn about life in Iowa before it became a state and the many changes that took place when settlers arrived in You Gotta Know the Territory.
  • Dig into the history of Iowa’s rich natural resources and the balance between using these resources and preserving them in Delicate Balance.  
  • Discover what inspired more than 76,000 Iowans to fight for the Union and the role they played in the nation’s bloodiest war in Iowa and the Civil War.
  • Visit Civics in Action to learn more about the civic ideals of the United States and Iowa, Iowans of civic action, and the importance of being an engaged person in your community.
  • Discover the stories and artifacts of the earliest people who called this land home and more recent Iowans who helped make Iowa truly unique in Iowa's People & Places.
  • Explore the history of Iowans at home, work and play – and how that shapes who we are today in Iowa History 101.
  • Take a peek behind the scenes in Visible Vault, an eclectic showcase of 700-some artifacts chosen from approximately 100,000 items in the museum’s diverse collection.
  • Experience Iowa’s legacy with the silver screen from the early 1900s to today in Hollywood in the Heartland.
  • Delve into the history of bicycling in Iowa including the story of the Des Moines Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI®) in Riding Through History.
  • View the intricate details of the original, 40-piece silver service used aboard the USS Iowa in USS Iowa Silver Service.