The 14 universities of the Big Ten Conference are home to some of the finest museums, special collections and libraries in the nation. From musical oddities to ancient artifacts, the B1G Museums series is your carefully curated guide to the archives and exhibits, great and small, which help make these universities outstanding. Join us as we journey across 14 campuses and inside the institutions that make us so proud to LiveB1G
University of Illinois
Did you know that it is possible, within the confines of one single building on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to travel across the globe and through time?
Virtually, of course.
At the Spurlock Museum of World Cultures, objects and artifacts from bygone civilizations spirit visitors away, illuminating the story of humans on earth.
From ancient Mesopotamia to the empires of South America, the collection of statues, functional objects, musical instruments, ornaments and traditional costumes bring to light human history in vivid detail.
The origins of the Spurlock Museum date back over a century to the establishment of three separate institutions on the university’s campus: the Museum of Classical Archaeology and Art, the Museum of European Cultures and the Oriental Museum. An invaluable resource to students, faculty and researchers, the antiquities collected in those museums, to this day, form the core of the museum’s current collection.
Following consolidation, expansion and construction of a new, dedicated building – thanks to a generous donation from alumnus William R. Spurlock and his wife Clarice – the museum quickly became a renowned center for scholarship on the Urbana-Champaign campus.
Today, the Spurlock Museum has, according to their website, “nine permanent exhibits, a dedicated space to changing exhibits, an auditorium for events, a learning center for hands-on activities, and carefully designed spaces for artifact storage and research.”
Educational outreach to area children in grades K-12 also forms a core component of the Spurlock Museum’s mission. Educators can access lesson plans, borrow select items, schedule visiting artist presentations and coordinate class tours of the museum.
During the summer months, the Spurlock Museum offers a host of events appealing to kids and parents alike, from an introduction to archaeology to step back into historic Urbana-Champaign. Admission is always free, and more information can be found at: http://www.spurlock.illinois.edu/