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Link back to series home page.Graphic header: Explore Photographic Archives
The Peabody Museum

Removing fallen sculptured blocks from the
Hieroglyphic Stairway, Peabody Museum Fourth
Honduras Expedition, Copan, 1895
Photographer: unknown
Courtesy Peabody Museum, Harvard University


The Peabody Museum at Harvard University, founded in 1866, is the oldest institution in the western hemisphere devoted solely to archaeology and ethnology. The museum houses one of the most exhaustive systematic records of material culture in the United States of America. There are over five million objects in the collection, half of which represent North American material encompassing Paleoindian cultures through the present. About half a million photographic images from around the world, documenting the development of the different branches of anthropology, are curated by the Department of Photographic Archives. Ranging from daguerreotypes to colored transparancies, the Photographic Archives' collection of images ranges across the archaeology and ethnology of the world.


The emphasis in the collections tend to mirror that of the material culture in the museum, with the greatest number of the photographs coming from North and Central Americas. Other important holdings include South America, West and Central Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Nasrin Rohani, Photographic Archivist


"No-che-ninga" or "No heart of fear,"
Chief of the Iowa tribe, ca. 1840-1850.
Photographer: unknown
Courtesy Peabody Museum, Harvard University


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