When Brown University received Rudolf Haffenreffer's private museum from his family in 1955, its collections included 60,000 objects from the Native cultures of the Americas. Under Brown's stewardship, the collections have grown in breadth and depth through fieldwork, donations, and strategic acquisitions to reflect research interests of Brown faculty and students.
The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology's permanent collection now includes over 150,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects from all over the world, and forms the basis for research, exhibitions, and community outreach. The Museum collection illustrates and documents human cultures and societies worldwide. The collection is strong in the indigenous arts of the Americas, Africa, and Southeast Asia, along with smaller collections from other parts of the world.
The collection can be viewed online, or by visiting the Museum's Collections Research Center, located in Bristol, RI. Qualified researchers should contact [email protected] at least three weeks in advance to arrange an appointment.
The Museum's Archive, which comprises primary source materials, including photos, correspondence, and other documentation of cultural and historical significance, enhances the research value of the ethnographic and archaeological collections.