Our Mission

It is the mission of the Burpee Museum of Natural History to inspire all people to engage in a lifetime of discovery and learning about the natural world through preservation and interpretation.


Burpee’s Grand Opening: May 24, 1942.

Funded with WPA money and a trust fund established by Harry and Della Burpee, the Museum opened to the public inside the historic Barnes Family Home, built in 1893. The newly opened museum was housed on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the mansion and included original exhibits created by founding Executive Director Milton Mahlburg and the extensive Veile Collection of Mammals and Birds, which was originally showcased in 1904 at the Rockford Public Library.

Over 75 Years Later:

Burpee Museum remains a cornerstone of the Rockford region community. With an internationally known paleontology department featuring the most complete and best-preserved juvenile T. rex ever discovered, Burpee Museum remains an active contributor to both scientific research and scientific education.