Iowa Historical Museum – Des Moines, Iowa

Iowa Historical Museum – Des Moines, Iowa

The Iowa Historical Museum is housed in the Iowa Historical Building—a modern glass and granite building. Its many different exhibits showcase all facets of the state’s history from prehistoric fossils to modern-day gadgets. 

Visitors can look at Native American and pioneer artifacts and political and military items. One can find antique aircraft in the atrium, a replica coal mine, a medical marvels display, and lifelike exhibit settings.

The museum has developed several hands-on exhibits whose purpose is to bring Iowa’s past to life. A gift shop and restaurant are housed on the premises. The facility is used for events such as the World Food Expo. and other venues.

Admission – None

Location: 600 E Locust St, Des Moines, IA 50319

Directions – just west of the State Capitol on East Locust

Hours –


9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday
Noon – 4:30 p.m. Sunday
Closed Monday and official state holidays
Admission is freeLibrary & Archives:

The hours of reference & retrieval are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Archives, photograph, and manuscript collections are closed Saturdays, unless arrangements are made in advance.”

The Library & Archives are closed New Years Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day


  1. paul morse says:

    I am asking if you still have the airplane (the biplane from the klein family from treynor Iowa), on display?

  2. Dear Paul,
    Thank you for your question concerning the biplane at the Iowa Historical Museum. I contacted the museum to inquire about the plane and was told that yes, the biplane is still on display. They encourage you to come and visit the Iowa Historical Museum in Des Moines to see the plane and all the other wonderful items they have on display.


  3. Dorris O'Neal Bull says:

    Are there still displays of fossils found by Corwin O’Neal of LeGrand?

  4. Dana Williams says:

    I purchased a quilt at an estate sale a couple weeks ago.I has a label sewn on a corner on the reverse that say “Registered With The Iowa State Historical Museum”
    I.D. No. B-20
    I can’t seem to find it in any records on this site.
    Thank you in advance..Dana Williams

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