Our permanent research collection consists of approximately 16,000 objects, most of which are ethnographic. Current strengths include holdings from the U.S. Southwest and the Pacific Islands, and basketry from California. Our searchable online database features the entire Anthropology collection, including digital images for every piece.
Nearly 1700 Native American objects, including textiles, jewelry, baskets, pottery, works of art on paper, katsina carvings, and beadwork. The primary focus is the U.S. Southwest, but California, Alaska, the Northwest Coast, and the Plains regions are also represented.
Approximately 400 objects from at least 14 distinct island groups, including the Solomon, Fiji, and Santa Cruz Islands. The items were collected independently in the late 1920s by members of the American Museum of Natural History-sponsored Whitney Expedition. See our online exhibit The Pacific Voyages of Rollo Beck.
More than 1200 items from around the world, but primarily of European or American manufacture. The objects relate to the role of food in various cultures, including processing, storage, preparation, and serving. Visit our online exhibits, many of which feature objects from the Rietz Collection.
Nearly 500 Hawai'ian objects, including stone tools, wooden bowls, fishing equipment, feather leis, and a fragmentary warrior's helmet.
Approximately 1000 Native Alaskan objects, primarily bone and ivory tools, ivory craft items, two full-sized kayaks, and two baleen baskets.
Over 500 handmade mingei (traditional folk toys), with examples from temples and festivals in every prefecture, and including clay rattles, papier mâché figurines, wooden kokeshi dolls, and painted votive plaques.
Over 75 fragmentary Coptic textiles from the first millennium CE and nearly 60 complete or nearly complete pre-Columbian Inca clothing items. See our online exhibit Coptic Textiles from Egypt.
Nearly 250 objects, mostly household and utilitarian objects, collected in the 1970s among the Gabra people of Kenya.
Over 1000 objects from Chalchitan and Pichikil, archaeological sites in Highland Guatemala. Predominately jade and pottery, this collection survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, and many of the pieces bear scars from those events.
Approximately 300 lighting devices from around the world and across the centuries, including lamps from over 30 cultures ranging in age from 100 to 3500 years old.
View online exhibits featuring objects from the Academy's Anthropology collection.
Catalogs of select portions of the Academy's Anthropology collection have been produced over the years. Southwestern Indian pottery and jewelry, Coptic textiles, and Polynesian tapa cloth have all been featured.
How to access our collections, donate objects, apply for an internship, and more.