The primary mission of the Wrather West Kentucky Museum is to highlight and promote an understanding of the social, cultural and economic development of West Kentucky and the Jackson Purchase. Acquisitions, exhibits and special programs support this mission. Both permanent and changing exhibits are open to the public at no charge.
In 1924 the first permanent building was constructed on the campus of Murray State University. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places June 18, 1975, the facility was extensively renovated and dedicated as the Wrather West Kentucky Museum on September 22, 1982. In the early years of the institution, the old building was used for campus classes, chapel, pep rallies, debates and plays; it also housed the bookstore, post office, a dining room, science laboratories and the administrative offices.