Anthropology Collections

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History is Oregon's official repository for publicly owned anthropological collections. Spanning more than 14,000 years of human history, the collections contain archaeological and ethnographic objects from Oregon and 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 our collective heritage, both locally and globally.

MNCH archaeological collections are largely from fieldwork conducted by museum researchers, the UO Department of Anthropology, and other archaeologists and agencies. Often, they result from “rescue archaeology” in connection 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