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Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History Named Among Top 50 Most Impressive College Museums

Sam Noble Museum




NORMAN – The Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History at the University of Oklahoma has been named one of the top 50 most impressive college museums, according to College Values Online. Among both private and public colleges included in the list, OU is the only school in Oklahoma to be selected, joining the ranks of other universities such as Dartmouth College, Harvard University, Princeton University and Yale University.

 “We are so proud of our museum not only because it has received national and international honors, but because it contributes greatly to a citizenry that is more informed about the fascinating story that is Oklahoma,” said OU President David L. Boren. “The Sam Noble Museum is the oldest state museum in Oklahoma and has served the state since 1899, protecting and interpreting the natural and cultural heritage of the state. Its cutting edge research, collection management, university teaching and public programs influence young people and adults throughout Oklahoma. It is one of the small number of museums in the nation to receive a White House medal for excellence in the field.”

The Sam Noble Museum was selected based on its more than 10 million objects and specimens over 12 collections. Together, the collections narrate the natural history of Oklahoma and much of the world. The museum is home to the world’s largest and smallest Apatosaurus skeletons; a Pentaceratops skeleton, whose 10 ½-foot skull also is the world’s largest; and the oldest work of art ever found in North America – a lightning bolt painted on an extinct bison skull.

In 2014, the Sam Noble Museum was awarded the National Medal for Museum and Library Service in a White House ceremony. Presented by the Institute for Museum and Library Services, the medal is the nation’s highest honor conferred on museums and libraries for service to the community.

To be considered in the recent online ranking, museums must have a connection financially or organizationally with a college or university. Selected for their permanent and sizable collections, each college museum’s displays were required to span more than one time period and hold recognizable works of art in their collections or artifacts that appeal to a variety of audiences.

College Values Online provides assistance in selecting the best college for each individual by offering rankings of schools and various degree programs. For more information on the college museum rankings, visit

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