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Dubuque, Iowa
Transforming Dubuque With the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium
Exterior of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Image courtesy of the Museum.

Exterior of the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. Image courtesy of the Museum.

Since 1976, the NEH has supported the Dubuque County Historical Society as it transformed from a small, regional museum into a world-class institution dedicated to the Mississippi River and its history. NEH funding has taken several forms. Early challenge grants—which helped the Society raise an additional $2.2 million—provided for the expansion of the Woodward Riverboat Museum, the Woodward River Museum, and restorations of the Mathias Ham House Historic Site. These sites remain central to the Museum’s large campus. Later grants helped the Museum as it created the public programs and exhibitions that expanded its focus to the Upper Mississippi River’s national significance. Most recently, the NEH has supported humanities-focused staff positions and exhibitions in the expanded National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. The Museum is now an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

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