History

The Museum of Idaho is a free-standing nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing world-class traveling exhibits to eastern Idaho, preserving and showcasing our natural and cultural heritage, and fostering immersive learning opportunities for locals and visitors alike.

The Museum of Idaho is located in historic downtown Idaho Falls, the cultural center of a region highlighted by such outdoor meccas as Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Jackson Hole, and Sun Valley.

The Bonneville County Historical Society (BCHS), which operates the museum, was formed in 1975 in response to plans by the city of Idaho Falls to demolish a vacant building at Eastern Avenue and Elm Street that had been built in 1916 as a Carnegie Library. The BCHS transformed the building into the Bonneville County Museum in 1985, and then with help from generous donors, began purchasing adjacent land and buildings to make way for an expansion tripling the museum's size. The new structure, now capable of showcasing major permanent and traveling exhibits, opened its doors as the Museum of Idaho in 2003.

The MoI has since become a tourist destination, cultural hub, and prime venue for bringing the world to Idaho, and Idaho to the world. With an economic impact of more than $41 million in its first nine years of operation, the museum brings in thousands of visitors to experience internationally and nationally acclaimed exhibits each year. The MoI has worked alongside renowned institutions such as Boston's Museum of Fine Arts and Chicago's Field Museum to bring in world-class exhibits on dinosaurs, pharaohs, Gutenberg Bibles, the Titanic, Da Vinci, and the famous "Bodies: The Exhibition", just to name a few.