A-Z Index

Museums and Collections

Established in 1905, Northwest Missouri State University has a long, rich, compelling past and a vital, diverse, interesting present. The online Northwest History museum was designed to showcase the institution's history and offers visitors a window into campus life and the contributions of Northwest faculty, staff and students.


Science Museums

The Northwest Science Museums, which feature the Geoscience and Troutman Collections, are located in the Garrett-Strong Science Building.

The Geoscience Museum is located on the first floor of Garrett-Strong and features a full-scale reproduction of a fossilized Tyrannosaurus Rex skull, a meteorite display and geological specimens collected in various parts of the United States, including northern Missouri.

The Walter M. and Velma C. Troutman Collection is located on the second and third floors of Garrett-Strong and features an impressive display of North American mammals, which the Troutmans collected during big-game hunting trips at home and abroad between 1966 and 1982. In addition to gray wolf, elk, pronghorn and Kodiak brown bear, the Troutman Collection includes the four varieties of bighorn sheep found in North America: desert bighorn, mountain bighorn and two types of Dall or "thinhorn" sheep, white and Stone.

For more information about the collections or to schedule a tour, contact

Missouri State Arboretum

Since 1993, Northwest has been the official Missouri State Arboretum.

The Arboretum won the 2000 CommuniTree Award "for exemplary stewardship of community trees."

The University and the City of Maryville were awarded the 2001 Communitree Award for the bypass project east of Maryville at the intersection of highways 71 and 136. The awards were presented to the Missouri Arboretum by the Missouri Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council and the Forestry Division of the Missouri Department of Conservation.

An arboretum is a place where trees and other plants are grown for educational or scientific purposes. On the Northwest campus, more than 1,300 trees provide spring flowers, summer shade, fall colors and winter shelter.

The variety of tree species at Northwest provides education on many levels. Faculty use the trees to teach biology and botany. Local residents thinking of planting saplings can come to campus and view mature specimens before making a decision.

Warren Stucki Museum of Broadcasting

The Warren Stucki Museum of Broadcasting is one of the few museums - and perhaps the only one in the Midwest - dedicated exclusively to radio and TV broadcasting.

Created from the personal collection of retired radio engineer Warren Stucki and expanded with artifacts donated by radio buffs across Missouri and Iowa, the museum traces the development of wired and wireless communication from the telegraph through the "golden years" of radio up to the current digital era.

On seeing the collection of approximately 30 vintage radio sets, visitors often reminisce about "grandpa's" radio or "when we got our first TV." The museum also features several interactive displays where guests can tap out Morse Code, hear old-time radio dramas and commercials, and listen to President Franklin Roosevelt deliver his first Fireside Chat over an authentic 1930s living room console.

Other highlights include a working, hand-cranked Edison phonograph with cylinder records, circa 1900, a 1924 article from "Successful Farming" magazine explaining why all farm families should have a radio in their home, vintage television gear and recording equipment used to create "the miracle of video tape," and the military radio young Stucki carried through the European theater during World War II.

Archives and Special Collections

Located on the second floor of the B.D. Owens Library, the University Archives contain thousands of documents, photographs and artifacts associated with more than 100 years of Northwest history.

The library also contains a number of special collections, including the Hooper Civil War Collection, the Willa Cather Collection, the Lewis B. Mayhew Collection and the Charles I. Frye Collection described below.

For more information, contact the University Archivist at

The Willa Cather Collection

The B.D. Owens Library houses a complete first-edition set of the works of novelist Willa Cather, which was acquired by matching a substantial gift from a patron with Northwest Foundation funds.

The impetus for purchase of the set was a gift from Mrs. Charles (Lela) Bell, an avid reader and supporter of higher education and the arts whose love for Cather's writings was inspired by a Northwest faculty member. Mrs. Bell's gift was matched by funds from the Morehouse and Saville bequests.

The first volume of the set carries Cather's signature. To support this rare holding, Owens Library has developed a solid collection of scholarly material about Cather ranging from biographies and annotated bibliographies through memorabilia to current criticism of her works.

The most recent acquisition to the Cather collection is a rare "advanced copy" - a bound galley proof - sent to Cather for final editing before the work was published.

The Hooper Civil War Collection

Tom Hooper, a Maryville resident and realtor, was an avid collector of Civil War memorabilia and writings. Of particular interest in the Hooper bequest to the Owens Library are the "Official Records of the Union Army" and the "Official Records of the Confederate Army," exhaustive records of personnel and supplies for both the North and the South.

One of the most unusual pieces of the Hooper bequest is a rare reproduction printed in a limited edition of a Civil War soldier's handwritten diary.

The Hooper bequest totals nearly 400 volumes as well as artifacts and memorabilia. This bequest is actively supported through the Owens Library's current collection development efforts, which include additions of new scholarly works, videos and memorabilia.

The Lewis B. Mayhew Collection

The Owens Library contains the entire personal library of the eminent scholar of higher education, Dr. Lewis B. Mayhew.

The collection includes Mayhew's substantial contributions to scholarship and research in higher education, dissertations of graduate students who benefited from his mentoring and books and journals that he read and reviewed for a large number of professional associates.

The collection came to Owens Library through the efforts of President Dean L. Hubbard, a co-author and former pupil of Dr. Mayhew's, and Dr. Mayhew's son, Lewis B. Mayhew Jr. Unique volumes in the Mayhew Collection are housed separately in the Mayhew Room. The standard works have been incorporated into the Owens Library's main collection.

The Charles I. Frye Collection

In 1995, the Owens Library received a valuable collection of works relating to geology from Professor Charles I. Frye, who retired from Northwest in 1996 after several years of service to the Department of Geology and Geography.

Dr. Frye's interest in early and rare geology textbooks resulted in his collecting a substantial number of special works. Most notable of these is the rare 1834 edition of Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology, which delights modern-day scholars with its hand-inked face plates and maps.