The most Unique historic community in Central Illinois.

Jacksonville was a beacon of education and service in the early history of the United States, and that shining history still exists in our community today. The museum was established in the 1980s, and moved to its new home in the old Jacksonville Post Office in 2021. The beautiful federal-style structure is the perfect location to showcase our ever-growing collection to tell our community’s compelling stories.

The Museum is also the home of the MacMurray College archive collection, which is on long-term loan from the MacMurray Foundation for preservation, display and interpretation.

We invite you to visit the Jacksonville Area Museum, and start your journey of discovery of West Central Illinois.

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Illinois State Hospital

The history of Jacksonville and West-Central Illinois is intertwined with the many institutions that contributed to the character and development of our communities. The Illinois State Hospital was one the leading institutions, and existed as a ‘city within a city’ on the southern border of Jacksonville. This new exhibit explores the places, people, and new approach to caring for people in our state.

The exhibit opens April 6, 2024.

Nice Threads! The History of J. Capps & Sons, Ltd.

Learn more about this new exhibit on Jacksonville’s notable clothing manufacturer. This exhibit is currently on display on an open-ended run at the museum.


  • Illinois State Hospital Exhibit Opens April 6, 2024

    Illinois State Hospital Exhibit Opens April 6, 2024

    ​A new exhibit featuring the history of the Jacksonville Developmental Center will officially open to the public on Saturday, April 6 at the Jacksonville Area Museum in downtown Jacksonville.  ​The state-operated Jacksonville Developmental Center opened as the Illinois State Hospital and Asylum for the Insane in 1851 and for more than a century was one…

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  • Museum closed March 3-16, 2024

    Museum closed March 3-16, 2024

    The Museum will be closed temporarily from March 3 – March 16, 2024 for maintenance.The museum will reoepen on March 17, 2024. We apologize for any inconvenience, and plan to see you soon at the museum!

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  • Building with Brick – The Art of LEGO” returns to Jacksonville Area Museum

    Building with Brick – The Art of LEGO” returns to Jacksonville Area Museum

    The talents of area LEGO enthusiasts will once again be on display when the “Building with Brick – The Art of LEGO” exhibit opens Saturday, December 2 at the Jacksonville Area Museum. The exhibit will run through the end of February, 2024. The exhibit includes a three-foot replica of the ill-fated Titanic, the amazing Concord…

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