The Department of Anthropology houses extensive collections of historic and contemporary ethnographic objects, prehistoric and historic archaeological artifacts, and comparative osteological collections. Examples from two of those collections are showcased here:
George Way Harley and his wife, Winifred, acquired substantial collections of African materials during their missionary work in Ganta, Liberia, between 1926 and 1960. Professor Nathan Altshuler purchased the present collection for the College in 1965.
The majority of the items in this collection are the artistic creations of northern Plains and Great Lakes beadworkers from the 19thand early 20th centuries. As such, they represent an era characterized by tumultuous changes and cultural transitions, not just in these regions but across the continent.