The Department of Anthropology curates collections that are available for teaching, research, exhibition, and public programming. We provide public education through exhibitions on campus, public lectures, events, and outreach activities with K-12 and other audiences. In addition, teaching collections are utilized in training undergraduate and graduate students. Faculty, students, and scholars from UW-Madison and other institutions access our collections for research.
Explore the Collections
Learn more about our extensive archaeology collection, currently comprising about 3,500 cubic feet of space and mostly representing the pre-contact period of southcentral and southwest Wisconsin.
Learn more about our biological anthropology collection, representing primates, hominins, and modern humans from around the world.
Learn more about our ethnographic collection, with objects originating from a multitude of locations around the world.
Learn more about our teaching collections, spanning an impressive temporal and spatial breadth.
Learn more about our archives, the vital documents that tell us more about our collection objects.
Theses and Dissertations
Learn more about our thesis and dissertation collection, representing almost 100 years of a successful graduate program.
Notable Collections within the UWAC
Hominin Cast Collection
Beginning as far back as 1938, casts of major hominin finds have been acquired by this department for use in teaching. With the advent of 3D scanning and printing and access to open source files, we now also print our own copies of old and new discoveries in-house.
UW Field Schools
The Anthropology Department has hosted summer archaeological field schools fairly regularly since 1947. These collections have made UW the premier research institution for archaeological research in southcentral Wisconsin.
Anthropology Department Teaching Slides
This extensive collection of slides, started in 1951 by Professor W.W. Howells, provides visual content for instruction and research in the field of Anthropology.
Harris Palmer Collection
Local amateur archaeologist, Harris Palmer, donated an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts originating from the state of Wisconsin. This collection is used often for both classroom instruction and public outreach.
Access to this collection is provided through the UW Digital Collections, including images of the ethnographic objects present in the UWAC.