About The Illinois Distributed Museum


The Illinois Distributed Museum seeks to show the innovations that have occurred at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign. The museum highlights the work that staff, faculty and students have completed at Illinois and is meant to share these stories with the campus and community. We invite you to click and explore through the exhibits and find out the amazing ways that people have been able to change the world through collaboration, determination, and perseverance. The University of Illinois has a long standing tradition of working on interdisciplinary projects that have ultimately led to changes in understanding and interacting with our world and have helped our society. As you investigate, we hope that you are able to find these themes and many more!

The Illinois Distributed Museum is unique as it is designed so campus is the museum building and this website is the tour guide and the exhibit interpretation labels. Each exhibit has at least one location that you can visit and a list of other locations (titled Locations to Visit). You can also take tours of different themes and subjects in the tour section. The Illinois Distributed Museum can be used without visiting the locations, if you wish to explore these innovations away from campus.  There are also resource sections and sources sections within the exhibits that will lead you to more information about that topic. You can click on the map or an exhibit to begin or you can click the tours tab and take one of our tours!

Public Programs and Resources for Educators

Women in Science Lecture Series – a monthly lecture series hosted by the University of Illinois Archives. Find information on upcoming speakers, archived lectures and resources for teachers to use the video in classes.

Mission Statement

The mission of the Illinois Distributed Museum (IDM) is to interpret the processes, results, and impacts of innovation at the University of Illinois for both academic and non-academic audiences via a responsive website.  

This website is intended to serve as “labels” that tie locations, objects, documents, and digital resources from across campus and across time into a series of narrative pathways that can be explored both on and off site.


The IDM focuses on innovation that has occurred at the University of Illinois, whether catalyzed by students, by faculty, or by individuals outside the academy.  Innovation is broadly conceived as the processes, knowledge frameworks, methodologies and/or technologies that provide a novel approach to meeting a societal need or solving a societal problem.  Innovation is further framed as a long-term collaborative and iterative process in which happenstance and serendipity may play a role.


Have a question, comment or suggestion? Would you like to be an author?

Contact the Illinois Distributed Museum Coordinator.

Kristen Wilson: klallen3@illinois.edu; (217) 300-7488

Photo Requests

All photos will be listed in the “Sources” tab on the exhibit page. The Illinois Distributed Museum is a part of the University of Illinois Archives. The majority of our photos are from the University Archives and the copyright is held by the university. If you have any photo requests please email illiarch@illinois.edu. Clicking on the link that leads you to the photo on the University Archives website and sending that link in your request will help the process move faster.  You can learn more about the Archives Digital Reproduction services here: https://archives.library.illinois.edu/services/duplication-services/. Please visit the original links listed in the sources  tab for information on copyright and permissions of use for all other photos.