The Missouri History Museum is a history museum located in St. Louis, Missouri in Forest Park showcasing Missouri history. The museum is operated by the Missouri Historical Society and was founded in 1866. The main galleries of the museum are free through a public subsidy by the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District
The Jefferson Memorial Building, built in 1913 with profits from the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, is the current home of the museum.
In 2000, the Emerson Center, a significant building addition was completed, boosting attendance and exhibition capacity. The Emerson Center, featuring a ground-to-roof southern glass facade, was designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, and included substantially more exhibition space, as well as an auditorium, classrooms, a restaurant and gift shop. The Emerson Center was selected by the American Institute of Architects's Committee on the Environment as an example of architectural design that protects and enhances the environment. It is an example of a green museum.
The museums signature collection includes both national artifacts, as well as Missouri and St. Louis related materials, such as local colonial and native artifacts, Louisiana Purchase Exposition artifacts, and items relating to Charles Lindbergh and his trans-Atlantic flight in the Spirit of St. Louis. A replica of the Spirit of St. Louis can be found in the museum. A large number of artifacts from the Lewis and Clark Expedition are also housed in the permanent collection, as St. Louis was the starting point for that venture.
Recent travelling exhibits and events have included items related to the Fox Theatre's restoration and renovation, the Road to Freedom tour (celebrating the Americans with Disabilities Act), and, prominently, the Lewis and Clark National Bicentennial Exhibition.
Admission to the museum's permanent collection is free; however, some exhibitions require the purchase of tickets.