So far as a careful scanning of the catalogs of ISNS reveals, the first mention of a museum occurs in the 1896 issue, where on page 45 we find that “Natural Science has its museum well stocked with minerals, rocks, fossils dried and alcoholic specimens.”
While our Museum has usually been referred to as one of natural history, there has accumulated over the years a miscellaneous collection of other materials. There are items of historical value, such as swords, guns, and uniforms. There are old documents, coins, and curiosities. There are boats and other items from river and sea. Industrial exhibits are helpful in the geography field. Antiques and relics are numerous. “The world’s first reaper” is on exhibit. There are examples of ceramics and household utilities. You can see enough old money to make you feel like a millionaire as part owner. You will see many samples of jewelry from everywhere – some no doubt very valuable. Petrified works are in evidence in various forms. Handicrafts of many peoples have been donated by missionaries and world travelers. A modern America Indian visiting the Museum would no doubt marvel at the ingenuity of his ancestors. We must not fail to look at the walls as we go about, where pictures reveal scenery and historic spots of many descriptions. Indeed the Museum can be almost considered as “all things to all men.” And never forget that we have the largest mastodon tusk of which man has knowledge!
UNI ScholarWorks, University of Northern Iowa, Rod Library
©1955 UNI Museum, University of Northern Iowa
Cram, Fred, "The Museum at the Iowa State Normal School (State College of Iowa)" (1955). Documents. 5.