Accessing Rock Island Arsenal

Rock Island Arsenal is an active military installation. All visitors must enter through the Moline, Illinois Gate. Visitors 18 years old or older who do not have an approved Department of Defense ID must obtain a visitor pass at the Moline Gate Visitor Center, open Monday through Friday from 6AM to 6PM and Saturday and Sunday from 7AM to 6PM.

To obtain a pass:
1. Present a valid state identification card, driver’s license, or valid US Passport. (Please call ahead if your ID was issued by Minnesota, Missouri, or Washington State, as a second form of identification may be necessary).

2. Complete a favorable criminal background check completed at the Visitor Control Center.

All vehicles and persons are subject to search and privately owned weapons are not allowed.

Foreign Nationals are not allowed access unless visiting Rock Island Arsenal for official business.

To contact the Visitor Control Center, call 309-782-0485, 309-782-0484, or 309-782-1337 or email at usarmy.ria.imcom.mbx.usag-access-request@mail.mil.

RIA Welcome Sign

Getting to the Museum

1 Rock Island Arsenal
Building 60 – 3500 North Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61299

Tuesday – Saturday
10AM – 4PM
Closed Federal Holidays and the day after Thanksgiving


The Rock Island Arsenal Museum has a fascinating history dating back to 1905.

The Museum’s own story of how it came to be and the wartime challenges it encountered serve as a reminder of how important the Museum is to Arsenal Island and the surrounding Quad Cities community.

Museum History


Permanent Exhibits

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum’s Core Exhibits explore the history of Rock Island and the Arsenal from 1805 to the present. Visitors will discover the impact that Rock Island Arsenal has had on National Defense and the contributions of the Quad Cities to the U.S. Military. This story is told through more than 250 artifacts, hundreds of photos, and digital and physical interactives.

In June 2023 the Museum reopened after an extensive renovation project that focuses on the work, people, and impact of Rock Island Arsenal.

Virtual Exhibits

History of the Rock Island Arsenal Museum

History of the Rock Island Arsenal Museum

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum is the U.S. Army’s second oldest museum. Explore its early history and the artifacts that make it a regional and national destination.

Word on the Streets

Word on the Streets

Discover the history of Rock Island Arsenal through the names of its many streets, avenues, and drives.

Women Workers of Rock Island Arsenal

Women Workers of Rock Island Arsenal

Women have played integral roles at Rock Island Arsenal and the many missions it has supported. Explore their stories and contributions.

The Road to Freedom: A History of the 108th Infantry Regiment, USCT

The Road to Freedom: A History of the 108th Infantry Regiment, USCT

Between 1863 and 1865, the Rock Island Prison Barracks was guarded by the 108th Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Troops. Their story is one of hardship and hope, as it provided a road to freedom for many formerly enslaved men who filled the unit’s ranks.
Mapping the Arsenal

Mapping the Arsenal

Explore the history of Rock Island Arsenal through historic maps of the island dating from the early 19th century through today. Discover unique stories and rarely-seen artifacts from the Island’s history.


Scheduling is not required for museum visitors, but a visitor’s pass is required. Learn more here.

Advanced scheduling is required for all bus or school groups. There is no cost to visit the museum.

Bus groups that register at least two weeks in advance can be granted special event status by the Garrison Commander. Individuals in the group will not be required to obtain a visitor’s pass, but all visitors over 18 will need to present a valid, government-issued, photo ID such as a state-issued driver’s license.


Artifact Donations

The Rock Island Arsenal Museum collects and interprets artifacts related to Rock Island Arsenal. The museum has a robust collection featuring items made at the Arsenal and items related to the Island’s past. With such a focused scope of collections, the museum is very selective about which artifact donations it accepts.

We would be happy to consult with you if you are interested in making an artifact donation.

Donate an Artifact
Resource Center

Museum Resource Center

If you’re interested in utilizing the Museum Resource Center or have a question about our collections, please contact us below.

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