Illinois State Museum researchers investigate the climate, landforms, plants, animals, and human cultures of the Midwestern United States with a special emphasis on Illinois. Research illuminates long-term changes in natural environments and human societies and provides interdisciplinary perspectives of the rich natural and cultural history of the state.

Below are links to the data collected from ISM Research programs.

At this time the ISM is developing a human remains policy and we anticipate board review and approval in 2021. This policy will provide guidance for research requests and demonstrate a sustained commitment to the return of Indigenous ancestors under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). Research requests that impact NAGPRA-eligible individuals and objects will be deferred until a policy is in place. This includes, but is not limited to, requests to conduct destructive analysis, to publish results from analysis of NAGPRA-subject materials, and for photos and drawings of burials. We anticipate receiving additional, culturally-sensitive requests and those will be handled on a case-by-case basis until a policy is in place.