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Our brand new first-floor galleries are officially OPEN! The wait is finally over - come see the NEW NMM. Information on the galleries, hours, and more can be found on the VISIT & LEARN and EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS pages!

Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10am to 4pm, stop in to see our seven new galleries, concerts, events, and more! 

The Jason & Betsy Groves Special Exhibitions Gallery is OPEN! Come explore our current special exhibition HIGH STRUNG: FIVE CENTURIES OF STRINGED KEYBOARD INSTRUMENTS.

About Us

A Musical Garden of Eden

Founded in 1973 on the campus of The University of South Dakota in Vermillion, the NMM is one of the great institutions of its kind in the world. Its renowned collections feature fine and historic instruments from many cultures and historical periods.

Following a multi-year renovation and reinstallation project that began in 2018, the NMM is now reopen, the entire first floor of the historic Carnegie Library building filled with  brand new galleries featuring permanent exhibitions showcasing the roles musical instruments play in our lives; the Lillibridge Wing expansion is also open, welcoming visitors to the Jason & Betsy Groves Special Exhibitions Gallery; the Janet L. Wanzek Performance Hall, a new gift shop and more. 

Spanning hundreds of years of culture, the NMM’s musical holdings range from priceless Italian violins to celebrity guitars, from organs to orchestrion, from harps to harpsichords, from dombaks to didgeridoos, from Les Paul to Sgt. Pepper, from Stradivari to Elvis. With its extensive archives of instrument-related materials, and offering the only graduate degree in musical instruments in North America, the NMM has been an epicenter for musical-instrument research.

Far away from the museums on the National Mall in D.C., the National Music Museum (NMM) is one national museum not to be missed. Recognized by the New York Times as a “musical Smithsonian…whose galleries teem with masterpieces,” the NMM has attracted thousands of visitors each year, who make the pilgrimage to Vermillion, South Dakota from all 50 states and many countries.

The NMM was founded as a partnership between The University of South Dakota, which provides staff and facilities for preservation, teaching, and research, and the Board of Trustees of the NMM, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation that is responsible for acquisitions, public exhibiting, and programming. The Board of Trustees is totally dependent upon support from NMM members, individuals, corporations, foundations, and governmental units.

The NMM is recognized as "A Landmark of American Music" by the National Music Council.

The mission of the National Music Museum is to explore, enjoy, and 
preserve the world of musical instruments.

The National Music Museum is a “bucket-list” destination for music lovers around the world. 

Many travelers drop by as vacation stop on their coast-to-coast travel. Heading West, Vermillion SD is an excellent lay-over before making the six-hour drive to well-known destinations in the Badlands and Black Hills of South Dakota.

Check our glowing reviews on TripAdvisor; the NMM is unquestionably worth the detour and an added few hours to your itinerary (although most music-lovers, in particular, wish they had budgeted more time). If you live in our region, the NMM can be a breath-taking discovery for a leisurely weekend or day trip.

Vermillion, SD is in the southeastern corner of the state, so we may be surprisingly closer to you than you think!


Find corporate information including our Board of Trustees, non-profit Status, tax documents, and policies.


Meet the dedicated team who keep the NMM ticking, day in and day out.


Learn about our buildings and unique facilities.


The NMM conducts cutting edge research, and welcomes external researchers who wish to utilize our resources.


Whether you're a music lover, a museum professional, or both, the NMM is an incredible place to work.

Graduate Study

The NMM offers the nations only terminal graduate degree specializing in the History of Musical Instruments.


The National Music Museum publishes the National Music Museum Newsletter that features articles about its collections, archives, and recent acquisitions, as well as information about institutional development, noteworthy events, and the accomplishments of its talented staff.

The NMM also publishes the National Music Museum Expansion Update between 2018-2021.

Select a link below to access recent issues.

  • Summer 2020 Newsletter
  • Spring 2020 Expansion Update
  • Spring 2020 Newsletter
  • Fall 2019 Expansion Update
  • Summer 2019 Newsletter
  • Spring 2019 Expansion Update
  • Spring 2019 Newsletter
  • Fall 2018 Expansion Update
  • Summer 2018 Newsletter
  • Spring 2018 Newsletter
  • Summer 2017 Newsletter
  • Fall 2016 Newsletter
  • Summer 2015 Newsletter
  • December 2014 Newsletter
  • September 2014 Newsletter

Follow the Music, and Stay Tuned!

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Contact Information

*Note that the National Music Museum, Vermillion, South Dakota, is currently closed for architectural expansion and renovation. Reopening is slated for 2022.*

Because the NMM has experienced an ever-increasing demand for its research services, we cannot answer telephone, email, or postal inquiries other than those submitted by NMM members (at the “Contributing” level or above). All requests for information must include the NMM Member's name and postal address. Inquiries submitted without this information can not be answered. The NMM does not accept requests for information by telephone.


the NMM will be CLOSED until TUESDAY, 1/16

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