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Department of State

New Jersey State Museum

The Hon. Tahesha Way, Lt. Governor and Secretary of State
Museum Updates:

NOTICE: In order to complete some electrical upgrades, the Museum will be closed as follows:
June 11 – The Museum’s 3rd floor will be closed, including galleries and restrooms.
June 14 – The entire Museum will be closed and will re-open regular hours on June 15.
We apologize for any inconvenience.


About The Museum


The New Jersey State Museum is a center for the exploration of science, history and the arts.
We preserve and share stories that inspire curiosity and creativity for the enrichment of our communities.

New Jersey State Museum Strategic Plan 2021-2026


General Inquiries

School and Group Reservations (Public Tours/Group Visits)

Rentals – War Memorial and Museum Auditorium

Museum Shop

Press and Media Inquiries

Development & Membership

Rights & Reproductions Requests
Archaeology & Ethnography:
Cultural History:
Fine Art:
Natural History:


Museum Staff



Margaret M. O’Reilly, Executive Director
Barbara Bower, Business Administrator
Susan Greitz, Marketing & Public Relations Manager
Bill Nutter, Rentals & Facilities Manager
Stephanie Nutter, Asst. to the Director/Rentals Contracts


Archaeology & Ethnography

Gregory D. Lattanzi, PhD, Curator & State Archaeologist
Karen A. Flinn, Asst. Curator
Susan Orr, Registrar


Cultural History

Nicholas Ciotola, Curator                                               
Paula Bisson, Registrar


Education & Public Programs

Beth Cooper, Curator                                                    
Devra Hock-Reid, PhD, Assistant Curator, Science Education
Jacob Hamer, PhD, Asst. Curator, Planetarium
Sabrina White, Educator, Volunteers and Outreach
Christine Ellis, Educator, Youth and Families
Susan Kozak-Buckley, Small Explorers Program Coordinator


Exhibits Design & Fabrication

Elizabeth Beitel, Supervisor, Museum Exhibits       


Fine Art

Sarah B. Vogelman, Asst. Curator                                
Sarah Biehl Kirk, Registrar


Natural History

Dana Ehret, PhD, Curator                                                        
Julia Vastano, Assistant Curator
Rodrigo Pellegrini, Registrar


Early Museum Exhibitions

In 1895, the New Jersey State Legislature formally established the New Jersey State Museum in the capital city of Trenton with a mission to collect and exhibit specimens in natural history, archaeology, and industrial history. Original collections included natural history specimens amassed in the 19th century. Between 1900 and 1912, the State Museum strengthened its archaeology focus by initiating a field research program.


Early Museum Exhibitions

It adopted a statewide Education Extension Service in 1914 that lent models, lantern slides, and specimens to schools throughout the state. In 1929 expanded space in the newly-constructed State House Annex permitted extensive exhibitions of the natural history and New Jersey prehistory collections. Decorative arts became a third collection field at this time when the State Museum expanded its focus beyond industrial history to include the manufacture of ceramics.


New Museum Exhibitions

The ethnographic collection was initiated in 1932 when the State Museum purchased part of an exhibition of North American Indian art. The collection was strengthened in the 1940s when noted anthropologist Frank Speck made field collections for the State Museum among the Delaware Indians of Oklahoma and Canada.


Early Museum Exhibitions

Exhibitions of these artifacts attracted the interest of New Jersey residents whose donations from private collections built the collection in the ensuing years.Growing interest in education and culture in the late 1950s resulted in the construction of a modern cultural complex near the State House that opened in 1965 and included a four-level Museum building, an adjoining planetarium, and an adjacent auditorium. At that time, fine art became the Museum's fourth collection area.


The State Museum was initially accredited by the American Alliance of Museums in 1974. Since 1983 it has been a division of the New Jersey Department of State.



1895 Museum is founded with Natural History specimens collected since the early 1800s.
1912 Archaeology is added as second collection area.
1922 Ethnography becomes a partner with Archaeology when Museum purchases North American Indian art.
1929 Decorative Arts is added as third collection area.
1964 Fine Art becomes fourth area of collecting, and Decorative Arts becomes Cultural History to better reflect collection.
1965 Museum moves to new Cultural Complex.
1968 Friends of the New Jersey State Museum (501)(c)(3) support group established.
1974 Museum is initially accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
1983 Museum becomes a Division of the NJ Department of State.
  • 09/06/22 - NJ State Museum
    Lunchtime Gallery Talks to Feature New Jersey Arts Annual Artists

    The New Jersey State Museum will present a series of seven in-gallery talks with artists featured in the 2022 New Jersey Arts Annual: Reemergence exhibition on select Wednesdays through the run of the show.

  • 08/18/22 - NJ State Museum
    Longtime State Museum Volunteer Among Honorees at Governor’s 2022 Jefferson Awards

    The New Jersey State Museum is pleased to announce that longtime volunteer Wayne Callahan was among the honorees at the 2022 Governor’s Jefferson Awards. Mr. Callahan was honored in the “Service Through STEM” category for his volunteer work with the New Jersey State Museum Natural History Bureau.

  • 08/04/22 - NJ State Museum
    Council for the Humanities Grant Will Support Upcoming State Museum Project

    The New Jersey State Museum (NJSM) is pleased to announce that the New Jersey State Museum Foundation is the recipient of grant funding from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities (NJCH) to support the a component of the exhibition "History Beneath Your Feet: Archaeology in the Capital City,” which will explore the social, cultural and environmental evolution of Trenton through archaeological artifacts.

  • 03/18/22 - NJ State Museum
    Dive In and Discover the World of Sharks

    Sharks are one of the most feared animals throughout the world, even though the odds of ever encountering one are highly unlikely. “Jaw Dropping World of Sharks,” a new exhibition from the New Jersey State Museum, aims to dispel some of the myths and misunderstandings about sharks and their relatives.

  • 01/10/22 - NJ State Museum
    New exhibition at NJ State Museum explores beauty, complexity of Black culture

    The New Jersey State Museum is pleased to present “Posing Beauty in African American Culture,” a touring exhibition opening January 29, 2022. The exhibition explores the contested ways in which African and African American beauty have been represented in historical and contemporary contexts.

Employment Opportunities

Code Open To: Title Closing Date
STA-2024-016 State Employees Planetarium Technician
Range A21/Title Code 74693

Internships at the New Jersey State Museum

Further your education, career, and interests by interning at the New Jersey State Museum!

The State Museum has numerous opportunities for students who want to learn more about their fields of study, gain valuable experience, or to broaden their interests.

Multiple intern opportunities exist throughout the Museum (Archaeology/Ethnography, Cultural History, Education/Planetarium, Fine Art, Natural History, Marketing and Public Relations, and Rentals).

Duties may include working in a bureau’s office, laboratory, collections management, library, or helping with research, exhibitions, education and field work, developing social media.

Recent interns have aided in the cataloging of fossil specimens, served as docents in the Museum’s exhibitions, aided in the preparations for a major exhibition, and helped to develop educational programs, services and curricula. Interns have also worked on projects that were published in scientific journals. Project ideas initiated by the interns will be considered.

Interns work under the supervision of the professional staff. Contact between the student, the academic advisor, and the Museum staff is encouraged.

An interview with the appropriate staff member and approval by the Bureau’s Curator is required.

Interns should be able to work with a high degree of independence, self-motivation, and accuracy. Please note: the NJSM cannot offer paid internships at this time, however, we will work with your educational institution to assist you in gaining credit (where possible) for the internship.

If you are interested in interning at the New Jersey State Museum, or if you would like more information, please contact one of the curators below:

Archaeology and Ethnography
Susan Orr, Registrar
Archaeology & Ethnography Internship Application
Fine Art
Sarah Vogelman, Assistant Curator


Cultural History
Nicholas Ciotola, Curator
Natural History
Dana J. Ehret, PhD, Curator
Natural History Internship Application


Jacob Hamer, PhD, Asst. Curator
Planetarium Internship Application
Education/Community Engagement
Beth Cooper, Curator




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