Free Museum: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has long been a leading center of research in ancient Near Eastern civilizations. The museum is small (72,000 square feet) and admission is free. Groups of 10 or more should contact the museum about free tours.
You can watch museum lectures on their You Tube channel here.
The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1155 East 58th Street, (773) 702-9520. Admission & Hours.
About the Oriental Institute
The Oriental Institute was founded in 1919 by James Henry Breasted with the financial support of John D. Rockefeller Jr., and was originally envisaged as a research laboratory for the investigation of the early human career that would trace humankind’s progress from the most ancient days of the Middle East. The goal of the Oriental Institute is to be the world’s leading center for the study of ancient Near Eastern civilizations by combining innovation in theory, methodology, and significant empirical discovery with the highest standards of rigorous scholarship.
The Oriental Institute Museum was opened to the public in 1931. The majority of the collections of the Oriental Institute came from its expeditions in the Middle East during the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. A major reinstallation of the Museum, including the construction of a climate-controlled wing for housing collections and archives, took place in the 1990s and early 2000s.
The Oriental Institute’s comprehensive collections, including artifacts, photographs, excavation records, administrative documents, and publications, serve the public in exhibits and online, as well as being an extremely rich resource for scholars.
The Oriental Institute Museum makes accessible to the public many of the highlights of our large collection of artifacts from the ancient Middle East (10,000 BC – AD 650), including objects from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syro-Anatolia, Israel, Iran, and Nubia. Many of the objects on display were excavated by University of Chicago archaeologists. To learn more about our collections, browse the Museums and Galleries and Collections sections of this website. You can also take a Virtual Tour of our galleries on this website.