Arizona History Museum (Tucson, Az)


The Arizona History Museum being the largest site in Tucson will take the focus of this page. The Arizona Historical Society is Arizona’s oldest historical agency. The society was established in November of 1864 by an Act of the First Territorial Legislature, which includes five museum locations. The five locations are located in Tempe, Flagstaff, Yuma, and Tucson. Tucson is home to four locations that offer historical references for the Historical Society. The locations are the Downtown History Museum, Fort Lowell Museum, Sosa-Carrillo-Frémont House, and lastly (my favorite) the Arizona History Museum.

The museum has a large variety of exhibits that entail details about the history of Arizona. The major exhibits that are on site currently are the Silver bell Artifacts, Geronimo, and Arizona mining. The overall mission of the Arizona Historical Society is to collect, preserve, interpret, and disseminate the history of Arizona and the West.


The Silver bell exhibit contains a collection of several dozen pieces/artifacts that were found in the 1920's. The origins of these artifacts are unknown. Some say they provide evidence that a colony of the Holy Roman Empire must have been in the Tucson area during the 8th or 9th century. When going through a tour of the collected artifacts/archives, you'll be told that some of their collections are donated by the public and other organizations. The Geronimo exhibit contains the stories and artifacts of Arizona historic individuals such as Geronimo and Wyatt Earp, as well as Emperor and Empress Maximilian and Carlota of Mexico. Geronimo's rifle is displayed in the museum and information about how his family was killed right in front of him. Family-oriented exhibits include a mining tunnel and a hands-on re-creation of 1870s’ Tucson. The mining tunnel was quite extraordinary. When walking through it you feel like you're actually walking through an underground mine. This is because the mine is an actual replica of one of the old mines, which includes displays of minerals that were found in an actual underground mine. The American Historical Society, through its exhibits, programs, and publications inform and inspire people of all ages by reminding them of the courage the documented characteristics from historical individuals or regular everyday individuals who were around when the expansion of Arizona began. The Historical Society offers public programming, educational opportunities, and exhibitions that are not only academically based, but also community based. Above the Museum and down below the Museum are collections of published and non-published material that have tremendous historical value which gives an opportunity for researchers to explore Arizona's economic, political, social, and cultural heritage. Some of the preservation and curating that takes place include formats, such as, photographs, diaries, letters, moving images, microfilm, maps, books, and other digital files [1]. These formats are all organized by volunteers and staff members.


      Geronimo Exhibit       Geronimo's Rifle       Horse and Carriage


One of the Arizona Historical Society's earliest actions was to create the means for documenting the past and recording contemporary events as they unfolded. This became what is known to be the Arizona Historical Society, formed to collect and preserve "all facts relating to the history of this Territory". [2] Arizona Historical Society engages people toward wanting to participate in the exploration of Arizona’s diverse cultural and natural history. Through innovative services and interpretive programs, they provide connections to the past, perspective on the present, and inspiration for the future. 

Since the Local Favorite exhibit is the I Am Tucson the rest of this page will talk about the exhibit and explore the meaning behind it. I Am Tucson received its own room in the Arizona History Museum. The purpose of the exhibit is to engage visitors and allow them to express why they are Tucson Arizona. It allows for the guests to share what Tucson means to them. Shortly after walking into the I Am Tucson room visitors are greeted by a large white board. The white board simply reads “ Share what Tucson means to you on the paper provided below. Clip the clothesline when finished.” Bellow that on the white board are some questions to think about when sharing. The questions are as followed.

1.     What makes Tucson home to you?

2.     What do you love most about Tucson?

3.     What is you favorite Mexican food restaurant in Tucson?

Whiteboard giving directions to visitors


 The guests are then encouraged to write their responses and thoughts down on paper. Once a guest has their ideas written down they hang them up next to all the others who shared. In addition to the line of paper thoughts , there is a video that plays in the room. The video is a loop of Tucson locals who explain what Tucson means to them. This gives the exhibit a more communal feel to it. More information can be found about the I Am Tucson exhibit with the link provided below.


Clothes-pin Wall 

The video and information can be found here from the Historical Museum Website:

In addition to the already highly interactive exhibit there is a giant crossword puzzle. The crossword puzzle has all different facts about Tucson. This adds just that little extra element to keep the visitors engaged in the exhibit.

Overall the Arizona Historical Society offers great museums for visitors to expand their knowledge about the vast history of Arizona. The museums are all over different exhibits , so be sure to check them out . The museum hosts special lectures and annual events. Home to the Arizona Historical Society library, archives, and artifact collections, it is a destination for researchers of Arizona History [3].These events are open to the public and are hosted frequently on their main website. As a witness on November 3rd, 2018, some parts of the museum are getting remodeled. This means, better paint quality, possibly expansion on exhibits and hopes to promoting more quality level retrievable information online. Though, some of the information provided requires a membership fee. When you become a member, you are supporting the preservation of history-through out collections, exhibits, educational programs and more" [4]! Membership offers coupons, discounts, subscription to award winning journals, member only events, which all includes "free" general admission to all eight historical sites within the Arizona Historical Society. 


Arizona History Museum:

Contact Information

949 E. 2nd Street, Tucson, Arizona 85719

Tel: 520.628.5774


Link to the Arizona Historical Society website:



1. “Arizona Historical Society”, Library and Archives.

2. “Arizona Historical Society & Museum. American Heritage.

3. "Arizona History Museum". Arizona Historical Society.

4. "AHS Membership". Arizona Historical Society.