Best Laramie Museums – Our Top 5
One of the reasons I enjoy living in Laramie is the diverse range of cultural activities. There’s little doubt that I wouldn’t be able to find so many different people from so many different places anywhere but a small college town; speaking of culture and art, Laramie is blessed with some really top notch museums many thanks to the University of Wyoming and others. Here is a quick look at some of the best museums Laramie has to offer residents and visitors.
The Geological Museum is, of course, dedicated to supporting academic programs along with scientific research and educating the public. It’s under the auspices of the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Wyoming. The museum has a large number of displays designed to illustrate the many different environments Wyoming has seen in the past eons. If you visit, don’t forget to check out “Big Al” the most complete Allosaurus fossil ever discovered. The Geological Museum had as one of its first directors the honorable Samuel Knight. Dr. Knight is responsible for the large copper-plated Tyrannosaurus Rex just outside the museum's entrance.
This museum is located in the Anthropology Building on the University of Wyoming campus at the corner of 12th Street and Lewis. There are four sub-fields in Anthropology, including Archaeology, Biology, Linguistics and Culture. This museum proudly features all four. One of the primary galleries follows the development of humans across the globe and catalogs the species evolution and migration. Prominent Wyoming Archeological sites are displayed as well. They are open during regular University hours and public tours are available.
The Laramie Plains Museum is established under The Laramie Plains Museum Association. The Association was created back in 1966 as an effort of the members of the Laramie Woman’s Club and Albany County Historical Society. Before the establishment of the museum, these groups had been collecting, cataloging and storing important items of historical significance. It was these efforts from the past that led to the current exhibits at the museum today.
The American Heritage Center is where the University of Wyoming stores and studies its amazing collections of manuscripts, rare books and archives from the school. The center also houses the University of Wyoming Art Museum, which consistently rotates visual art from around the world. Both are world class museums that are accessible locally. The American Heritage Center also brings a wide range of scholarly and popular programs and lectures to the people of not just Laramie, but the world. The center has been in existence since 1945 at the University of Wyoming, and their positioning statement for the Art Museum is “Bringing the World of Art to Wyoming”. The complex is dedicated as much to education as it is to inspiration, as it collects, preserves and exhibits art from around the globe. Laramie is truly lucky to have this kind of resource available to residents and visitors alike.
This outstanding research facility was established by Dr. Aven Nelson just three years after Wyoming became a state. It contains the single largest collection of plants and fungi indigenous to the Rocky Mountain region. The facility houses an incredible 825,000 specimens and proudly ranks as the largest facility of its kind between St. Louis and Berkeley. Again, this is a research facility, however, public tours for groups can also be arranged by contacting the curator or Herbarium manager at (307) 766-2236. The Herbarium Library is a non-circulating branch of the University libraries. As such, its resources are available to researchers, students, and visitors.