Mobile Museum

    After a successful three-year tour from 2017-2019, Iowa History 101 is on course to visit all 99 Iowa counties again by 2022. The exhibition is housed in a bright blue, custom-built Winnebago and is filled with artifacts, including:

    • a Meskwaki cradleboard from the late 1800s, a frame used in combination with a beaded wrap to protect infants
    • knitting needles used by Jane Kirkwood of Iowa City to aid soldiers during the Civil War and World War I
    • a birchbark lunchbox used by a boy in Cerro Gordo county in the 1870s
    • women's suffrage materials including the pen Gov. William Harding of Sibley used to sign Iowa's 19th Amendment bill, as part of the national effort to ensure women's right to vote
    • a University of Iowa pennant owned by Edward Carter of Monroe County, the first African American to get a medical degree from the University of Iowa
    • a business card from the 1920s of J.L. Spriggs, an African-American homebuilder in Des Moines
    • boots worn by Des Moines Water Works director L.D. McMullen during the flood of 1993
    • a NASA-issued, flight suit worn by record-breaking astronaut Peggy Whitson of Beaconsfield
    • photographs of Iowans from across the state

    Iowa History 101: People and Places is made possible by presenting sponsor EMC Insurance Companies. Additional support is provided by: Casey’s General Stores, Winnebago Industries, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Mike Wolfe.

    Request a visit

    If you’re interested in hosting the mobile museum, please fill out the visit request form but first consider these questions:

    • Will you be able to provide a 20’ x 40’ hard, level parking surface?
    • Are there low-hanging tree branches or other vertical hazards around the proposed parking surface?
    • Is there a standard electrical outlet within 100’ of the suggested location?
    • Is there a 30-amp or 50-amp electrical outlet within 50’ of the suggested location?

    If this is a Community Visit:

    • Are you able to provide volunteers to open/close/monitor the mobile museum?
    • How many visitors do you anticipate will visit the mobile museum?
    • Do you have any additional community partners?

    If this is a School Visit:

    • What grade levels will be visiting the mobile museum?
    • How many total students do you expect to visit the mobile museum?

    Make the most of your visit

    The State Historical Museum of Iowa is excited to bring the mobile museum to your community. They will take care of sending a press release to your local media and creating a Facebook event to promote the mobile museum’s appearance.

    If you want to share additional information with community partners, check out these resources:

    • Customizable Poster
    • Promotional Video
    • Photos


    Scheduling Accepting Requests for 2020-2022 Request a Visit
    General Questions Jessica Rundlett Email | 515.281.7471
    Media Inquiries Michael Morain Email | 515.725.1141