The UW Anthropology Collection provides instructional content for department courses, to encourage expanded pedagogical opportunities for our undergraduate and graduate students. This can take the form of specialized teaching kits, covering specific topics, to extensive collections stored and managed in the classroom in which they are most used. Our collections routinely serve a number of offered courses, including:

ANTHRO 100, “General Anthropology”
ANTHRO 102, “Archaeology and the Prehistoric World”
ANTHRO 105, “Principles of Biological Anthropology”
ANTHRO 212, “Principles of Archaeology”
ANTHRO 302, “Hominoid Evolution”
ANTHRO 303, “Human Skeletal Anatomy”
ANTHRO 310, “Topics in Archaeology”
ANTHRO 354, “Archaeology of Wisconsin”
ANTHRO 370, “Field Course in Archaeology”
ANTHRO 391, “Bones for the Archaeologist”
ANTHRO 405, “Introduction to Museum Studies in Anthropology”
ANTHRO 411, “The Evolution of the Genus, Homo”
ANTHRO 490, “Undergraduate Seminar”
ANTHRO 690, “Problems in Anthropology”
ANTHRO 696, “Archaeological Methods of Curation”
ANTHRO 698/699, “Directed Study”

Biological Teaching Labs


The Anthropology Department manages two classrooms that are used for teaching biological anthropology classes. Both rooms were renovated in 2009 through a UW-sponsored ILM (Instructional Lab Modernization) grant.

Collections Teaching Labs

Anthropology Collection Internships

Supervised by the Anthropology Museum Director, for-credit semester internships (1-3 credits) are available to undergraduate students interested in anthropology, curation, and museum studies. Enrolled students commit to an on-site schedule equating to 3 hours/week per credit enrolled (ranging from 3-9 hours/week, M-F, between 8am and 4pm) and completion of an end-of-semester report. During the internship, independent projects are completed that expose each student to unique skills specific to an anthropology subdiscipline of the student’s choosing (archaeological, biological, cultural, or a combination of these). Projects are identified for each student prior to the start of the semester and expectations are finalized based on a combination of collection task needs and specific student interest.

Internship spots are limited by availability (almost exclusive preference is given to students who have completed ANTHRO 405) and instructor consent. Internships are only available in the spring/summer semesters. Interested students should email the Anthropology Museum Director during the fall semester to inquire about position availability and fit.

Introduction to Museum Studies in Anthropology (ANTHRO 405)

This 3-credit accelerated honors upperclassman course, taught by the Anthropology Museum Director, is offered once per year (traditionally during the fall semester) to provide an intensive introduction to curation and collections management topics. Students discuss readings and complete hands-on exercises focusing on museum topics such as: registration (like accessions and loans), collection management (including cataloging and labeling), and laws and ethics. While a general overview of standards and best practices is discussed, the course, as a whole, focuses on how these are operationalized in anthropology collections. This course is ideal for future museum professionals.

Occasionally, this course also includes a Community-Based Learning (CBL) project, performing a unique service to a partner Wisconsin community organization. Examples of these projects (almost exclusively assisting state historical societies) have included: performing a collections assessment, designing and installing a small exhibit, and creating draft policies.