BOZEMAN - Most people know the Museum of the Rockies for its famous dinosaurs - like Big Mike the T. rex greeting visitors at the museum’s entrance – but there’s more to it than bones.
The Museum of the Rockies is Montana through-and-through. In 1957, Butte native Dr. Caroline McGill founded the museum, using many artifacts from her personal collection. For the first few years, the artifacts it held were organized by local volunteers. Finally in 1965, the museum partnered with Montana State University and started its expansion into the iconic Bozeman institution many know today; an institution that’s visited by nearly 200,000 people annually.
The Museum of the Rockies is also one of only two Smithsonian affiliates in the state, connecting Bozeman to one of the nation’s most respected learning institutions. And unlike the dinosaurs it holds, the museum won’t go extinct anytime soon. A recent upgrade of the museum’s storage facilities is opening new doors for their work.
“We just didn’t have the space,” says Curator of History Michael Fox. “Now, we do. And that’s really going to be leading us into kind of a new era of history.”
As well as a new era in research.
“We’re open for business in terms of bringing researchers in, sharing the knowledge that we have, and sharing the one of a kind specimens that we have in our collections,” says Fox.
And of course, the museum’s most famous one-of-a-kind specimens? Dinosaurs.
With Montana being home to numerous dinosaur excavations, it only makes sense that many of their final resting places be in the Treasure State.
The Museum of the Rockies boasts the country’s largest collection of North American dinosaur fossils. It’s also home to the most T. rex specimens in the world.
Examining the past and investing in the future… that’s why the Museum of the Rockies is a Montana Treasure.