The New Jersey State Museum is a general museum with collections in American fine art, New Jersey natural history, archaeology and cultural history. As a center of cultural, educational, and scientific engagement, the Museum inspires innovation and lifelong learning through its collections, research, and exhibitions. Located in New Jersey’s capital city of Trenton, just steps from the State House, it features both long-term collections and changing exhibitions in science, history and art. Each gallery offers something unique and exciting to discover for children and adults.
The Museum houses collections in Archaeology and Ethnography that provide data on the entire span of human occupation of New Jersey from prehistoric to historic 19th century. The Natural History collections are comprised of approximately 250,000 specimens ranging from minerals and ores to animals study skins and fossils, which in addition to their scientific significance, also have historic and cultural significance. The collection is the repository for Paleozoic and Mesozoic fossils, as well as the first Cretaceous mammals to be found in eastern North America. The Cultural History department collects, preserves and interprets objects that document the lives of people who have lived in New Jersey from the 17th century to the present. The collection includes over 13,000 artifacts documenting New Jersey’s cultural, economic, military, political, and social history, as well as aspects of its decorative arts. The Fine Art collection has an American focus that highlights the work of New Jersey artists within the context of American art history.
The Museum features a Paleo Lab where visitors can see the latest fossil finds and talk to scientists; and the Discovery Den, where young visitors can learn more about natural history in a fun, hands-on environment. Visitors are encouraged to explore outer space in our 140-seat planetarium – complete with full-dome video and surround sound. A variety of programming is available for ages preschool and up.