On the central tier of the Oakland Museum are the history galleries, featuring California artifacts and an interactive history of California geared towards the museum's educational mission. The collections in these galleries are particularly strong when it comes to the region's gold rush history, artifacts from Asia and the Pacific, documentary photography, and Native Californian artifacts such as hand-woven baskets, pottery, jewelry, and weaving. The California Indian collection also includes exhibits and artifacts related to cultural celebrations and dance.
The lower tier of the Oakland Museum houses the natural science exhibits, which interface nicely with the open terraced gardens and the koi pond. These galleries offer displays about Oakland, the Sutter Buttes, Mount Shasta, Yosemite, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, the Tehachapis, and the Coachella Valley, as well as changing exhibits on everything from bees to natural science illustration. The jewel of the museum's science collection is the California Library of Nature Sounds, which collects and distributes nature sounds widely to everyone from hobbyists to academics to filmmakers. You can experience a virtual tour of California's nature sounds by clicking on one of the links below.The Oakland Museum has always embraced a grassroots approach, reaching out to Californians through an array of special events, including the annual Days of the Dead Community Celebration, arts and crafts sales, and events with community partners.