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museum in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., established in 1893 as the Columbian Museum of Chicago with a gift from Marshall Field (from whom it derived its present name in 1905). It was established to house the anthropological and biological collections of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. On his death in 1906, Field bequeathed generous sustaining funds and a sum to erect a new museum building (completed in 1921) to house exhibits, research collections, and a library primarily devoted to anthropology, botany, geology, and zoology.