Museum of Anthropology

William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology

The Museum Collections and Research Center and Office of State Archaeology has limited hours but is open by appointment. To make an appointment or ask a question, you may contact museum staff by e-mail, which can be found here

Founded in 1931, the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology has three primary purposes: to acquire and maintain anthropological collections, support anthropological research, and disseminate anthropological knowledge. The extensive holdings serve to link the past, the present, and the future. The Museum is charged with several responsibilities: to serve a diverse audience, from the layperson to professionals; to preserve significant, irreplaceable objects; and to contribute to our understanding of past and present cultures, especially those of prehistoric Kentucky.

Excavations at the Wright Large Mound, Montgomery County, Kentucky, August, 1938. William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology, Neg. No. 2221.

 

Exhibits

The Museum maintains a small exhibition area in the foyer of Lafferty Hall.  Exhibits are designed and fabricated by anthropology students highlighting items in the museum's collection.  Currently on display:

  • The Rise of Modern Archaeology in Kentucky
  • Odisha: An Unbroken History of an Enduring People
  • Exploring the Northwest: The Collection of Anthropologist Margaret Lantis (1906-2006)

Coming Soon (Fall 2020)

  • Kentucky's First Farmers: Ancient Upland Gardens of Eastern Kentucky 

Collections

The museum encourages professionals, students, and other researches to conduct research on our extensive collections. Access to the collections for research purposes is by application. Contact the Museum Director, George Crothers, for more information.

As of January 1, 2020 a research moratorium on all Native American and Native Hawaiian human remains, associated funerary objects, unassociated funerary objects, sacred objects and objects of cultural patrimony curated at the Webb Museum will be in effect.  This moratorium will remain in effect until legal compliance under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) has been achieved.  Questions about this moratorium can be directed to the Webb Museum’s NAGPRA Coordinator, Dr. Celise Chilcote-Fricker.

Archaeological Curation

The Museum provides permanent curation for archaeological contract projects conducted within Kentucky, student thesis/dissertation or professional research projects, or other research involving archaeological excavation. Museum curation standards must be met before projects will be accepted. A one time curation fee is applied to all non-Federal contract archaeology projects, the schedule for which can be found in our curation guidelines (link below). Curation fees are waived for student projects. For all other types of projects please contact the Museum directly.

Effective July 1, 2020, the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology will be lifting its moratorium on the accession of new materials for permanent curation.  Please be advised that the document outlining the Museum's requirements for collections preparation, Standards for the Preparation of Archaeological Specimens and Documents for Curation at the William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology, has been updated and can be found at the link below along with all the required forms.  Any collections for projects concluded after January 1, 2020 will be subject to these new guidelines; any effort to apply these new standards to past projects is appreciated, however, we do understand budgetary restrictions.  At current, the fee schedule remains the same but is subject to revision at the discretion of the Museum.

Please contact the Curator, Lisa Guerre, with any inquiries and to coordinate transfer of custody of collections.

To curate collections with the Webb Museum:

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