The Michigan State University Museum, founded in 1857, is the first collection holding unit established on campus. It has comprehensive natural science collections and the university's most extensive and diverse cultural collections. These collections are used for research, education, exhibition, outreach and engagement projects
The MSU Museum adheres to the codes and standards for research and collection development care and use set forth by the American Association of Museums and professional associations such as the American Folklore Society and the American Anthropological Association.
These include adoption of the set of AAM recommended policies and procedures for Nazi-era World War II materials and UNESCO's International Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, the 1990 law governing the process for museums and federal agencies to return Native American items ‚Äď human remains, funerary objects, sacred objects, and objects of cultural patrimony ‚Äď to lineal descendants, culturally affiliated Indian tribes, and Native Hawaiian organizations.