A different kind of museum-going experience

We have adopted health and safety protocols under the guidance of the University of Chicago and developed in conjunction with UChicago Medicine in order to promote a safe and enjoyable experience when visiting us. 

Please read the following information before you make a reservation

Make a Reservation


All visitors coming to the University of Chicago campus, including visitors to the OI Museum, are required to adopt the University’s COVID-19 health protocols and complete a Visitor Attestation affirming that they will comply with the required safety precautions and that they are not experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (paper copies and disposable writing utensils are available at our visitor services desk). 

By Appointment: Limited Attendance by Reservation Only

  • The OI Museum is open Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm.
  • Reservations are required for your visit, which are limited to one hour.
  • Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays are open to the public with suggested admission fee.
  • Saturdays are reserved for Members and the UChicago community (students, faculty, and staff with UChicago ID) and their guests; if you're not yet a member, become one today: oi.uchicago.edu/member
  • Admission is always free for Members and the UChicago community (students, faculty, and staff with UChicago ID) and their guests.
  • Please check back regularly for the release of additional reservation times.

Make a Reservation


Public Health Practices at the OI Museum

  • Everyone who makes a reservation must agree to follow public health practices at the OI Museum, and signage in the OI Museum lobby and galleries will encourage these practices.
  • Everyone, including OI Museum staff and visitors, is required to wear a face covering or mask covering the nose and the mouth at all times while in a University facility and while on campus grounds when others are within 6 feet.
  • During your visit, you will also be expected to maintain 6 feet of physical distance from individuals who are not members of your own group.
  • OI Museum visitors are encouraged to use the hand sanitizing stations available in the OI Museum lobby.
  • Signage will indicate a single entry and exit to the galleries, and one-way signage and floor markings will direct visitors through the galleries during their visit.
  • Visitors can move at their own pace throughout the galleries; however, each visit will be limited to one hour, and we ask that members of your group stay together


Welcome back! The OI Museum follows public health protocols under the guidance of the University of Chicago. Our OI Museum protocols are reviewed regularly so that we may make adjustments as necessary. We are supporting a safe museum space by:

We are enhancing and increasing the frequency of cleaning and sanitation, especially for high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces.

Before returning to the OI Museum, all of our employees will complete the University of Chicago’s COVID-19 training and health attestation.

Contactless Registration

Anyone planning to come to campus is also expected to complete a Visitor Attestation. We will have paper copies of the Visitor Attestation and disposable writing utensils available at our visitor services desk so that each adult visitor in your group may complete and sign an attestation. Checking in for your visit and completing the required Visitor Attestation is a contactless experience.

Modifications to the Galleries

All interactive features have been temporarily disabled, and spaces have been modified in accordance with public health protocols, including the removal of seating from the galleries.  

Please note that the Suq Gift Shop will remain closed at this time.

COVID-19 Case Reporting

If, in the days after your visit, you or any of your guests has a confirmed case of COVID-19, symptoms, or exposure, please promptly self-report to the OI Museum at oi-visitors@uchicago.edu or call 773.702.9509.


If you experience any technical difficulties making a reservation, please email us at oi-visitors@uchicago.edu

We are also available to answer your calls on Tuesdays from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at 773.702.9509.

Mesopotamian temple statues and gifts in the Mesopotamian Gallery
Colossal statue of King Tutankhamun

The world-renowned OI Museum aims to understand, reveal, and protect the earliest human civilizations.

Right at 58th and University is one of the world’s greatest centers for understanding the story of our lives as humans together; envisioned as a “laboratory for the study of the rise and development of civilization,” the Oriental Institute is the University of Chicago’s—and one of the world’s—very first interdisciplinary institutes. The OI is also a world-renowned museum, housing some 350,000 artifacts, excavated mainly by OI archaeologists, and a comprehensive archive that documents our fieldwork and other research. Together, the Oriental Institute Museum collections comprise one of the best resources in the world for the ancient Middle East, allowing us to understand, reveal, and protect the past.

The OI Museum displays objects recovered by OI excavations in permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the Levant, as well as rotating special exhibitions. As you explore these galleries, you’ll discover how people thousands of years ago forged a collective identity—confronting, as we do today, issues of autonomy, diversity, and unity. We start here. Whether you’re a current, aspiring, or amateur archeologist, artist, humanist, scientist, historian, philosopher, or linguist, we invite you to visit and learn about the beginnings of our lives as humans, together.


Your donation helps keep the galleries open and free to the general public. To make a gift, visit oi.uchicago.edu/give today. To support OI scholarship and fieldwork year round, consider becoming a member. Join us at oi.uchicago.edu/member.

Dig Deeper with our OI Mobile App:

Explore the OI from the comfort of your home or take a guided tour in the museum. The OI app offers interactive maps, self-guided tours, and the ability to share your experience with our social media icons! Download & Learn More

Visitor & Explorer's Guides:

Download the OI Museum Visitor Guide (gallery guide)

Download the OI Museum Explorer's Guide (family activity guide)

Photography Policy:

Photography is permitted in the museum galleries. Use of tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, or additional lighting units, however, is not permitted. To request publication-quality image files from our Digital Archives (including object, exhibition, and archival photographs and illustrations) and to obtain permission for publication, visit Photo Requests and Permissions.

Sketching Policy:

Visitors and groups may only use pencil and must have a notebook or clipboard to use. Leaning on cases is not permitted.


Items Not Permitted in the Galleries:

Food or drinks, backpacks, umbrellas, parcels or bags larger than 11”x13”, and e-cigarettes and vaporizers. Also, please refrain from talking on any cellular devices while inside the galleries.

350,000 approximate number of artifacts in the collection, primarily excavated by OI archaeologists
5,000 approximate number of artifacts on display