The Museum of Idaho is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing the world to Idaho, and Idaho to the world.

The Museum of Idaho engages, educates, and enlightens through exhibits, collections, and informal educational opportunities in the humanities and sciences.

We value:

  • connection
  • exploration
  • inclusion
  • professionalism
  • sustainability

Around 100,000 people visit the museum each year in beautiful downtown Idaho Falls to connect with regional history, take classes, research in the archives, and experience acclaimed traveling exhibits such as Bodies: The Exhibition, and Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition.

Museum History

The Village Improvement Society – a club founded by Idaho Falls women in 1898 to beautify and bring culture to their wild, dusty frontier town – secured a $15,000 grant from the Carnegie Foundation to build a public library at the intersection of Eastern Avenue and Elm Street. The Carnegie library, completed in 1916, served the town for decades before outgrowing the building and moving to its present location on Broadway. The Bonneville County Historical Society (BCHS), which had been operating out of a cramped space in City Hall, lobbied to save the then-vacant building from demolition in 1975. The BCHS renovated and opened the Bonneville Museum there in 1985.

In 1992, in anticipation of future growth, the BCHS purchased property immediately north of the Carnegie building. With help from another private donation of adjacent land, construction began in 2001 on an expansion that enhanced the museum’s scope and tripled its size to 30,700 sq. ft. The museum was renamed the Museum of Idaho and re-opened in 2003.

Since then, the museum has continued to grow, housing high-profile traveling exhibits, doubling its collection size, expanding education programs, and collaborating with partners to bolster the public humanities and science community in eastern Idaho. In 2016, MOI announced plans for an additional expansion of around 25,000 square feet, almost doubling the size of the current facility yet again. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2018 and last 12-18 months.