Anthropology Collections

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is designated by law as the official repository for State-held anthropological collections. It includes archaeological holdings spanning more than 14,000 years and ethnographic objects from around the world.

The museum's ethnographic collections represent recent peoples and consist of hand-crafted items including textiles, musical instruments, weapons, and other objects illustrating traditional technologies and everyday life. Assembled through private gifts, these objects reflect the lifeways of many cultures and the collective experiences of our local community.

The museum's archaeological collections are largely from fieldwork undertaken by the Research division, the UO Department of Anthropology, and other archaeologists and agencies. Often, they result from “rescue archaeology” in conjunction with highway projects, dam building, and other developments.

Collections recovered from professional archaeological fieldwork on state and private land are curated at the museum under the provisions of archaeological permits issued by the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (see Archaeological Curation). Collections from federal lands are held under cooperative agreements with numerous land-managing agencies.

For more information contact Pamela Endzweig, Director of Anthropological Collections, at 541-346-5120 or