About the Collections
Established in 1866 as one of the first museums of anthropology, the Peabody Museum currently cares for a large and historic collection of anthropological materials from across the globe, including more than 1.2 million individual cultural items, 500,000 photographic images, and associated archival records.
Read more about the collections
These items originate from and can teach us about peoples and cultures from across the globe, both past and present. The broad and diverse collections have come from a variety of sources since the Museum opened in 1866: archaeological excavations and scientific expeditions, individual souvenirs and collections acquired while traveling, items exchanged and traded between various individuals and groups, historic pieces passed down through families, purchased from individuals and companies, as well as from other museums. The Peabody continues to research the various histories of each piece in the vast collection and strives to transparently contextualize and care for them through its commitment to ethical stewardship and sustainable practices. In this process, the Museum welcomes the input and research of community stakeholders and the wider public.
Read more about where do the collections come from
The Museum continues to research the various histories of each piece in the vast collection and strives to transparently contextualize and care for them through its commitment to Ethical Stewardship (LINK). In this process, the Museum welcomes the input and research of community stakeholders and wider public. Collections records may contain language, reflecting past collecting practices and methods of analysis, that is no longer acceptable. The Peabody Museum is committed to addressing the problem of offensive and discriminatory language present in its database. Our museum staff are continually updating these records, adding to and improving content. We welcome your feedback and any questions or concerns you may want to share.