Inquiries, Contacts, and Forms

Repatriation activity proceeds in compliance with NAGPRA. As detailed in the statute (25 U.S.C. 3001) and regulations (43 CFR 10), the main activities include consultations with Native American groups, publication of Notices of Intent to Repatriate or Notices of Inventory Completion in the Federal Register, physical repatriation, inventory report production, co-curation, monitoring legislative or regulatory activity, and response to inquiries from students or other interested parties. The Peabody Museum uses the museum collections website (eMuseum) as a means of initial presentation of collections for NAGPRA consultation. The museum continues to refine policies and procedures for sensitive collections and to strive for improved approaches to expanding accessibility to Native American communities, whether through NAGPRA or other means.

Consultations  

The museum encourages groups embarking on repatriation activities to begin by consulting the Peabody's Collections Online for remote access to collections information (including images) and NAGPRA consultation.

Consultations with Native American groups under NAGPRA take several forms. Whenever feasible we arrange visits to the museum or Tribe(s) to discuss human remains, funerary objects, and potential sacred objects or objects of cultural patrimony. We also regularly engage in phone calls and written communication to address inquiries for additional information on collections, arrangements for physical repatriations and dispositions, co-curation, and web consultation through the Peabody’s online collections database. Consultations often result in requests for repatriation or for disposition of specific human remains or cultural items. Increasingly, there are opportunities to share and exchange information with tribes using digital media and community-driven data access platforms to organize and generate information about collections, traditional knowledge, and special care considerations. 

Contacts

Please submit all requests relating to information on the collections in writing and allow at least a month’s notice for pending visits. During the Covid-19 pandemic we recommend contacting us by email at pmnagpra@fas.harvard.edu. Visits should not be made without prior arrangement.

Patricia Capone, Curator and Director of NAGPRA
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Harvard University
11 Divinity Ave.
Cambridge, Mass. 02138
PMNAGPRA@fas.harvard.edu
 

The Peabody Museum NAGPRA Team:

•    Patricia Capone, Curator and Director of NAGPRA, 617.496.3702 pcapone@fas.harvard.edu
•    Sandra Dong, NAGPRA Coordinator, 617.495.9588 sdong@fas.harvard.edu
•    Meredith Luze, NAGPRA Regional Coordinator, 617.495.9309, mluze@fas.harvard.edu
 

Two forms will be requested from the tribes: a repatriation pre-visit form and a repatriation consultation form. Their full content can be found below.

Repatriation Pre-Visit Form

We request the following information to plan your visit as effectively as possible. Once we share this form with you via email, please return the completed form at least one week before your intended visit.

  • Name of Tribe
  • Date(s) of visit
  • Time of arrival at the museum (after 9am)
  • A list of the names and official titles of each representative who will visit

The form will also include the following questions:

  • What are your priorities in viewing the collections?
  • Are there any special considerations we should take into account?
  • Do you request viewing human remains?
  • Do you need directions to the museum?
  • Is disability access needed?

Repatriation Consultation Form

Record of Consultation Visit 

Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

(Public Law 101-601)

  • Name:
  • Date:
  • Name of Tribe:
  • Title/Position:
  • Address:
  • Phone Number:
  • Fax Number:
  • Email:
  • Collections Examined:

The visitor agrees to maintain the order in which the collection is organized. No item is to be broken, marked, or otherwise altered from the condition in which it is found. This agreement also gives permission to photograph collections provided that the resulting images are for personal use only. No commercial use of such images is allowed.

I have read and agree to the above conditions.

  • Visitor Signature:
  • Peabody Museum Staff Signature:
  • Date:

Object Handling Guidelines:

The Peabody Museum is dedicated to the care, preservation, and study of one of the largest and oldest collections of anthropological materials in the United States.

All Peabody Museum staff members have responsibilities as stewards of the collections. The Collections Management Department is jointly responsible for the care of the collection. If you need assistance, please ask a collections management staff member for help. These staff members are also responsible for monitoring the collections; there fore, they may offer assistance or advice and they will ask ou to pause your work if they determine that aid is necessary.

  • Only Peabody Museum staff are authorized to handle and move objects (including the mobile storage units). Peabody Museum staff will authorize exceptions on and as-needed an case-by-case basis.
  • No bags of any kind are allowed in storage areas.
  • Food and beverages are not allowed in the storage areas.
  • Be aware of clothing, jewelry, work belts, etc. that hang or dangle and their proximity to objects.
  • Do not casually touch any of the objects and do not lean against the storage units.
  • Slow down, be extra careful and never rush in a storage area.
  • Use a pencil when working with or near objects. Pens are not allowed near objects.
  • Treat each object as if it were the most important item in the collection.
  • Limit moving and handling objects; only touch an object if there is no alternative.
  • Return an object to its exact permanent location and re-house it exactly (or better than) it was stored.
  • Move only one object at a time and always use both hands.
  • If an object is oversized, fragile or heavy, you are required to get assistance from a second person.
  • Provide support for an object from below; never support an object by an appendage or its rim.
  • Do not temporarily set an object or tray on the floor.
  • Use a cart whenever physically feasible. 
  • If an object or tray is above eye-level, use a step-stool or ladder.

PLEASE NOTE: Some objects may have been treated with pesticides or insecticides that may be harmful if inhaled or touched. Warning labels are on some of these objects, but objects without labels may also have been treated. Gloves and protective clothing must be used at all times.

  • Signature & Date