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.

350,000 approximate number of artifacts in the collection, primarily excavated by OI archaeologists
5,000 approximate number of artifacts on display
View of the Khorsabad Court in the OI Museum
Colossal 40-ton winged bull and carved wall reliefs from an Assyrian palace in the Yelda Khorsabad Court
Colossal statue of King Tutankhamun
Colossal statue of King Tutankhamun

The Oriental Institute Museum is temporarily closed. 

The health and safety of our community is of great concern to the University of Chicago and the Oriental Institute, particularly in light of the evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). The OI has been working with the University, and we are carefully monitoring information and guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Chicago Department of Public Health. We are also taking appropriate measures to maintain a safe environment here at the OI. To this end, the OI Museum closed temporarily starting March 17th. Please understand that this decision was made in the best interests of community health and safety.

The UChicago Forward Website provides a comprehensive guide to the resumption of programs and activities on campus; a decision has not yet been made regarding the opening of the public arts and museum spaces on campus. Please continue to check this page and follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) where we will post an opening date for the OI Museum as soon as it is available. 


Museum and Suq Gift Shop Hours:

Tuesday, Thursday–Sunday: 10 am–5 pm
Wednesday: 10 am–8 pm
Monday: Closed

The Museum and Suq are closed Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
Reduced hours include: the day before Thanksgiving and July 3rd, 10 am–3 pm; Christmas Eve, Museum 10–3 pm, Suq 10–4 pm; and New Year's Eve, 10 am–3 pm.

From February 18 to April 6, 2020, the Persian Gallery will be closed at all hours and the Museum will close at 7:00 pm on Wednesdays. We apologize for any inconveninence this may cause.

Suggested Donation:

$10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children under 12. For groups of 10 or more people visiting the museum, please register by completing and submitting the appropriate form on the following page: Tours & Group Visits

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. Photographs taken in the galleries are for personal interest and research use only; they are not to be published or used for commercial purposes.


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.