The University Museum has been a repository of artifacts since Dr. Cyrus Thomas was commissioned to begin collecting for a museum by the first board of Trustees of Southern Illinois Normal University some time before 1871. The Museum formally opened to the public in 1874 and was located in the first Old Main Building. Since then, it has occupied 11 different locations across campus. The Museum has been located in Faner Hall since 1974. The American Association of Museums has accredited the University Museum since 1977. The Museum's 130th Anniversary Year was in 2004.