The museum houses the headquarters of the state Historical Society and has exhibits exploring the history of southern Arizona, starting with the Hohokam Indians and Spanish explorers. The harrowing "Life on the Edge: A History of Medicine in Arizona" exhibit promotes a new appreciation of modern drugstores in present-day Tucson. Children enjoy the exhibit on copper mining (with an atmospheric replica of a mine shaft and camp) and the stagecoaches in the transportation area.
Flanking the entrance to the museum are statues of two men: Father Kino, the Jesuit who established San Xavier del Bac and a string of other missions, and John Greenaway, indelibly linked to Phelps Dodge, the copper-mining company that helped Arizona earn statehood in 1912.
The library has an extensive collection of historic Arizona photographs and sells inexpensive reprints. Park in the garage at the corner of 2nd and Euclid streets and get a free parking pass in the museum.