Museums, Galleries & Collections

The educational resources of the university include art, galleries, collections, and exhibits of cultural and scientific materials. Research, teaching, and extension functions are combined in these collections, which serve both the institution and the general public.

Over the years, various departments and schools of the university have become repositories for extensive holdings of manuscripts; rare books; prints, paintings, and other art objects; costumes; textiles; historic artifacts; archaeological material; fossils; preserved plants and animals; wood products; and marine material. These collections serve many of the same functions as a library or make possible the identification of materials whose age, name, or significance is unknown.

Most university collections serve primarily research and teaching functions and may be viewed by prior appointment with their curators. 

  • Art About Agriculture: Recognizes professional and emerging Pacific Northwest artists, creates a growing, dynamic, permanent collection of fine art based on, stimulated by, and portraying agriculture, and presents the permanent collection and tour exhibit to rural and urban audiences.

  • Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation Science's Mammals and Fishes Collections: Include more than 9,000 specimens of birds and 10,000 specimens of mammals, as well as the Braly Ornithological Collection; Overton Dowell, Jr., Bird Collection; Alex Walker Ornithological Collection; and Oregon Game Commission Collection. Location: Nash Hall.

  • Fairbanks Art Gallery: Fairbanks Gallery of Art is Oregon State University’s professional art gallery. Its mission is to initiate, produce, and present scholarly visual art exhibitions to advance contact and dialogue with original works of art as an indispensable part of liberal art education. The exhibition programming of the gallery reflects the diversity of visual-art practices and cultures, fostering critical thinking, and reflecting the depth and breadth of human experience. The exhibitions support the educational missions of Art and Art History and broaden the dialogue across University communities, including general audiences.

  • Fine Arts Print Collection: Contains nearly 600 prints representing numerous countries and spanning several centuries. The collection’s holdings includes work of various styles, including Japanese Ukiyo-e, modern Japanese woodblock, 20th century Latin American, German Expressionism, and 20th century American prints.

  • The Herbarium: Contains more than 450,000 named specimens of seed plants, ferns, mosses, algae, fungi, and lichens. Emphasis is on collections from western North America. The herbarium is the repository for the Morton E. Peck Herbarium of Willamette University, a research collection of Oregon flora consisting of more than 30,000 sheets, and the former University of Oregon herbarium.

  • Herpetological Collection: Consists of more than 60,000 ethanol-preserved amphibians and reptiles, and approximately 24,000 frozen tissue samples. The collection has excellent representation for sites in the Pacific Northwest and includes the largest collection of garter snakes (Thamnophis) in the world. The J.C. Braly Natural History Collection includes 550 mounts of birds and mammals in addition to over 1,000 preserved specimens of amphibians and reptiles from the Pacific Northwest.

  • Historic and Cultural Textile and Apparel Collection: The collection, with display cases on the 2nd floor of Milam Hall, supports the outreach missions of the College of Business Design Programs by providing an educational resource and creative inspiration for students, researchers, and the general public.

  • The LaSells Stewart Center Galleries: Offer visitors the opportunity to experience three distinct art galleries: Giustina Gallery, Murdock Gallery, and South Hall Display Case. Collectively, the galleries provide the local and campus community diverse opportunities to view and display art work. Annual exhibits include: Vista and Vineyards, Art about Agriculture, Cultural Connections Exhibit and the Community Art Exhibit.

  • The Little Gallery: Exhibits eclectic selections of art from well-established and emerging artists and visually advances different critical methods of seeing, crucial and transformative approaches to large intercultural questions. The gallery has a welcome place in an international language department, is bringing cultures together and has become a confluence of disciplines, a place for discussion and wonder.

  • Memorial Union Art Collection: Currently among the 125 artists included in the collection are paintings and sculptures by J. Leo Fairbanks, works from the early nineteen hundreds by Carrie Gilbert depicting Native Americans, prints collected and donated by Gordon and Vivian Gilkey, and historic photographs of OSU (a number of which are on display in the mezzanine hall).

  • Memorial Union Concourse Gallery: One of the largest exhibition spaces on the OSU Campus. Several contemporary art exhibits reflecting a diversity of styles, media and cultural perspectives are scheduled throughout the year. These exhibits feature the artwork of international, regional, local recognized artists, and the art of talented OSU students.

  • Mineral and Crystal Display Collection: Curated for many years by Professor Emeritus Edward M. Taylor, it contains several thousand rare and fine specimens from the Walter Lidstrom Memorial Collection, the William Kean Gem and Gem Mineral Collection, the Russell Kenaga Micromount Collection, and many samples from all over the world.

  • Oregon State Arthropod Collection: A valuable research collection of nearly three million insect and mite specimens, chiefly from the Pacific Northwest. Collection strengths include Coleoptera, Hemiptera, Lepidoptera, and Hymenoptera.

  • Pacific Slope Archaeological Laboratory: Consists of artifacts, field notes, maps, drawings, sketches, and photographs accumulated in archaeological investigations. Several thousand items of primary archaeological documentation comprise this collection. Location: Waldo Hall.

  • Special Collections and Archives Research Center: Include collections pertaining to the history of science and technology; the historical records of OSU and papers of its prominent faculty members; collections documenting cultural and ethnic groups in Oregon; rare book collections; and collections documenting natural resources in the Pacific Northwest, especially agriculture and forestry.

  • Valley Library NW Art Collection: Consists of more than 140 contemporary artworks by leading Northwest artists, including current and former art faculty members at OSU. The majority of the works were added to the collection during the 1999 library renovation through the Oregon Percent for Art law and selected in collaboration with the Oregon Arts Commission.

  • Visitor Center of the OSU Marine Science Center: Features aquariums, interactive exhibits, and hands-on displays that bring to life the marine research conducted by OSU scientists. Special events, educational programs, guided tours and walks are available on request to teach visitors about the ocean and its inhabitants, from undersea volcanoes to the tiniest tide pool creatures.