Founded in 1982, the Nevada State Museum is one of seven museums operated by the Nevada Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. It is dedicated to preserving and promoting the state's natural and cultural history through its exhibitions, research library, collections, and educational programming. Visitors will learn about the state's geological past dating millions of years ago, the plants and wildlife that live in the state, the Native American tribes that have inhabited the region, and the miners, settlers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs who shaped the state to what is today. The construction and impact of the Hoover Dam, the atomic era, and the emergence of Las Vegas are also explored. The research library contains numerous materials related to the city and state including manuscripts, newspapers, personal papers, and others.
The museum was first located at Lorenzi Park. The state provided funds to build the current building at this location in 2000 but it was not finished until 2009.