NU State Museum – Steps is Up!

The University of Nebraska State Museum has announced that it has been accepted as an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

The NU State Museum joins 184 museums, educational and cultural organizations in more than 40 states, Panama and Puerto Rico. Smithsonian Affiliate organizations are selected for their record of scholarship, professionalism, high quality exhibits and effective museum education programs. The Smithsonian considers affiliate proposals from institutions whose missions are parallel to the Smithsonian’s and who demonstrate a strong commitment to serving their communities.

Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term, collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The partnership fosters resource sharing, educational initiatives, scholarly exchange and research efforts.

“The State Museum’s new designation as a Smithsonian Affiliate builds on our long-standing research collaborations with the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History,” said Priscilla Grew, director of the museum. “Three of our curators are Smithsonian research associates, and the Smithsonian’s national scarab beetle research collection has been on long-term loan to the State Museum for many years.”

The Smithsonian Affiliations’ program goal is to share the rich knowledge of the Smithsonian Institution with a broader audience, adhering to the Smithsonian’s highest aesthetic, intellectual and professional standards. The Affiliations program brings the Smithsonian in all of its breadth and depth, to places like the University of Nebraska State Museum to create lasting experiences that broaden perspectives on our history and culture. The State Museum looks forward to new partnership opportunities and to continuing collaborations with Smithsonian scientists.

“Today, the Smithsonian is doing more than sharing its treasures with the museums of America,” said Harold A. Closter, Smithsonian Affiliations director. “We are building relationships with people in their own communities, ensuring that all Americans can enjoy a quality Smithsonian experience, regardless of their proximity to Washington, D.C. Through the Nebraska State Museum we hope to share the rich natural history of Nebraska through collaborative educational programs, exhibitions and research projects. We are honored to welcome the State Museum into the family of Smithsonian Affiliates.”

The NU State Museum will celebrate its Smithsonian affiliation and the opening of the traveling exhibition “Titanoboa: Monster Snake” on Feb. 22 (regular museum admission charged). Titanoboa comes to Morrill Hall through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and will remain in Elephant Hall until Sept. 7. The exhibit, which features the research of State Museum curator Jason Head, assistant professor in the UNL Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, delves into the discovery, reconstruction and implications of the largest snake in the world, Titanoboa cerrjonensis.

Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops collaborative partnerships with museums and education and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources.  More information is available at <> .

Established in 1871, the University of Nebraska State Museum is the state’s premier museum of natural history. The museum is focused on promoting discovery in natural science, fostering scientific understanding and interpretation of the Earth’s past, present and future, and enhancing stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Nebraska through world class exhibits, collections and special events. For more information go to <> .


WRITER: Mandy Haase, NU State Museum

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