Norman in Cleveland County, Oklahoma — The American South (West South Central)
Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
In 1899 the Oklahoma Territorial Legislature created a natural history museum to preserve Oklahoma’s rich heritage. More than 100 years later, the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History was built to protect the museum’s priceless collections. Museum Director Michael A. Mares and University President David L. Boren presided over the groundbreaking in 1996 and the museum’s dedication in 2000, when the 195,000 square-foot facility became one of the largest university-based natural history museums in the world.
Professor Albert Heald Van Vleet, a member of the original university faculty developed the first collections of natural history which were lost when the first administration building burned in 1903. The collections expanded greatly in the 1930’s under the direction of Dr. J. Willis Stovall, a vertebrate paleontologist who collected some of the most significant dinosaur fossils ever found. Stovall served as director of the museum from 1943 until his death in 1953.
The museum is now home to more than six million artifacts and specimens, including the largest Apatosaurus and Pentaceratops in the world, as well
The building is named after Samuel Russell Noble in honor of his service to the University as a benefactor and member of the OU Board of Regents from 1987 to 1991. A philanthropist who was dedicated to the enrichment of Oklahoma and its people, Noble served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation Inc., which was established by Noble’s father Lloyd in 1945. A large donation from the Noble Foundation and the friends, family and business associates of Sam Noble helped turn the dream of a new museum into a reality. The Friends of the Museum developed strong support for a bond election for a new building. The City of Norman voted overwhelmingly to fund the project in 1991.
Dr. Mares, a prominent field biologist and national leader in the museum community, worked as director for 17 years to protect the collections, expand the museum’s visibility, increase its staff and budget, and garner public support for a new building. The museum features five major exhibit halls. The Siegfried Family Hall of Ancient Life displays prehistoric life in Oklahoma from the earliest life forms to the Age of Mammals.
The McCasland Foundation Hall of the People of Oklahoma features 28,000 years of human history
The museum is situated on 60 acres of native plants that showcase the many lovely habitats of this rich land called Oklahoma.
Erected by The University of Oklahoma.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Education • Native Americans • Paleontology.
Location. 35° 11.697′ N, 97° 26.939′ W. Marker is in NormanTouch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2401 Chautauqua Avenue, Norman OK 73072, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Cleveland County Courthouse (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Beginning of Cleveland County (approx. 1.8 miles away); Dave Blue Trading Post (approx. 4.4 miles away); Purcell (approx. 13˝ miles away); Hotel Love (approx. 13.6 miles away); 46th State (approx. 13.6 miles away); Confederate Memorial (approx. 13.6 miles away); Desert Storm Honor Roll (approx. 13.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Norman.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 18, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 18, 2019, by Jerome Walker of Moore, Oklahoma. This page has been viewed 339 times since then and 81 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 18, 2019, by Jerome Walker of Moore, Oklahoma. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.