Welcome to Anthropological Collections | The Field Museum

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Donations and Appraisals
The continued growth of The Field Museum's Anthropology collection depends on generous donations from individuals. If you are considering offering a donation of objects to Anthropology, please read the information provided below and fill out the Preliminary Donation Questionnaire. Note that we are absolutely unable to provide appraisals or to identify or authenticate objects offered for donation. A list of appraisal resources is provided for your convenience.

 

Every donation offer is considered carefully; please provide as much information as you can about each object. The more information available about an object the better we will be able to determine if and how it fits into our collection. Below are the major things we are looking for:

 

  • What is the object and for what purpose is or was it used?
  • When, where, and by whom was it created?
  • How and when did you come to own it (gift, purchase, inheritance, etc.)?
  • Any other information that might be relevant to the object’s creation, use, or ownership history.
  • Photographs of the objects are often required to consider a donation. Please see our photography guidelines here.
If you wish to make a donation to the collection, please fill out the Preliminary Donation Questionnaire.

 

The review process may take up to several months and you will be notified once a decision has been made.

 

If you have questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Elana Carpinone
Assistant Registrar
The Field Museum
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
312-665-7589
 

Research and Object Identifications

​If you wish to request information and/or access to the Anthropology collection, please read our Policies and Procedures before completing the Visit and Information Request Form, which should include a detailed research summary along with a brief curriculum vitae or resume. If you are a student, please provide a letter of support from your academic advisor. 

 

Given the volume of requests we receive for collection access, we generally require several weeks to consider them. If approved, visits to the Anthropology collection may be scheduled when staff are available during weekdays between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (CST).

 

We are unable to provide appraisals, authenticate, or identify non-Field Museum objects. A list of appraisal resources is provided for your convenience.  

 

If you have questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Collections Manager
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
312-665-7528

 

Repatriation

Outreach, relationship building, and collaboration with Native peoples are intrinsic to the repatriation process at the Field Museum. The Repatriation Program responds to repatriation requests through consultation with indigenous communities and coordinating the review of requests for information and return. In conjunction with thorough anthropological, historical, ethical, and legal analyses, communication with descendant communities is the foundation of each domestic and international repatriation claim.  The Program also facilitates collaboration with indigenous communities by providing access to the Museum's numerous collections, responding to information requests, and co-curation initiatives. 

If you have questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Helen Robbins, Ph.D.
Repatriation Director
The Field Museum
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
312-665-7317

Loans

Anthropology requires a minimum of 1 year to process loan requests for exhibitions. If approved, the borrower will be sent a packet that includes a loan agreement and conservation requirements.

 

Borrowers are responsible for all costs associated with the loan, including, but not limited to, conservation treatment necessary for the loan to travel, packing and unpacking, mounting for shipping and/or exhibition, shipping to and from all venues, courier expenses, permits, licenses, and duties. In most cases borrowers will also be responsible for providing all-risk, wall-to-wall fine arts insurance coverage of the loan objects, or for paying the applicable insurance premium if coverage is provided by The Field Museum.

 

Anthropology charges a loan fee of $200 per approved object for exhibition loans. Additionally, if the object(s) require conservation treatment prior to traveling, there is a $100 per hour rate charged.

 

FOR EXHIBITION REQUESTS

 

FOR OTHER LOAN REQUESTS

 

If you have questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Angie Morrow
Head Registrar
The Field Museum
1400 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
312-665-7824

Rights and Reproductions
The Field Museum has a large collection of object and historical photographs. The Anthropology collection tries to make these photographs accessible for publication, especially for educational uses. If you would like to request to use our images, please fill out the Image Request Form. The information you provide will be assessed by our staff and we will let you know if your request is approved. Please note that it may take up to 6 weeks to complete your request.   

 

If new photography is required, we charge a fee of $200 per object. An additional $75 will be charged for additional shots of each object. To inquire about usage fees, please fill out the Image Request Form, as fees are based on the intended use of the image(s).

 

If you have questions do not hesitate to contact us.

Lauren Hancock
Associate Registrar
The Field Museum
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60605
312-665-7872

 

Contacts
 

Additional Staff

Elana Carpinone, Assistant Registrar

Gary Feinman, MacArthur Curator of Mesoamerican, Central American, and East Asian Anthropology

Lauren Hancock, Associate Registrar

Emily Hayflick, Repatriation Specialist

Stephanie Hornbeck, Chief Conservator

William Parkinson, Associate Curator of Eurasian Anthropology

Cassie Pontone, Assistant Collections Manager

John Terrell, Regenstein Curator of Pacific Anthropology

Alaka Wali, Curator of North American Anthropology

Anthropology is all about what makes us human, our place in nature, our common concerns, and our differences. We explore these ideas through laboratory and collections-based research at the Museum and at field sites throughout the world. We build and maintain the Museum's world class collection, which now includes more than a million and a half objects, documenting the diversity and accomplishments of humankind. Through registration, conservation, collections management, and curation we preserve this collection and its documentation in order to connect communities, researchers, and the public to our shared global heritage.

Due to the size of our collection, please be aware that there may be errors and inconsistencies in the data presented here. We are continually updating and correcting our data. We welcome scholars, members of descendant communities, and others to contact us for confirmation or clarification on data you find here. If you would like to request a confirmation, a correction, or send an update to a record, please contact us.

Read more about The Field Museum’s Conditions and Suggested Norms for Use of Collections Data and Images and how to cite our specimens and images.