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


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. Both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated individuals are required to wear a face covering over the nose and the mouth at all times while in University buildings.

By Appointment: Limited Attendance by Reservation Only

  • Museum Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 10:00am–4:00pm
    • Closed for Winter Recess December 24, 2021–January 3, 2022
    • Mesopotamian Gallery will close at 2:00pm on December 10
  • Suggested Admission Fee: Adults $10, Children (12 & under) $5.
  • Required Admission Fee: Groups of 10 or more people and for groups led by their own guide, $10 per person (paid in cash upon arrival).
  • Admission is always free 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.
  • For instructor-led, self-guided, student-group-visit requests, email oi-visitors@uchicago.edu.
  • Please check back regularly for the release of additional reservation times.

Click Here to 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.
  • Both unvaccinated and fully vaccinated individuals are required to wear a face covering over the nose and the mouth at all times while in University buildings.
  • 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.


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.

Modifications to the Galleries

All interactive features have been temporarily disabled, and spaces have been modified in accordance with public health protocols.

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, 10:00 am–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.

OI Museum Special Exhibition

Antoin Sevruguin: Past and Present (April 1–December 31, 2021)

Exhibition Talk: "The Inheritance & The Artist," with Yassaman Ameri, December 7, 5:00 pm CST

OI Museum Collections Talk Series (online)

Have you always wondered about what’s in collections storage at the OI Museum? Less than two percent of the over 350,000 ancient Middle Eastern artifacts in the OI Museum collections are on display. Join us this fall for our Collections Talks! Use the links below to register: 

"Fragmentary Pasts: Representing Early Dynastic Mesopotamia," with Jean M. Evans, October 19, 5:00 pm CST

"Ancient Pottery for Beginners: Why Archaeologists Study Ceramics," with James Osborne, November 30, 5:00pm CST

The Suq Gift Shop Hours: 

Wednesday, Saturday–Sunday

Support the OI!

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