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'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 Online Catalogue is the Haffenreffer Museum's newest resource in development. Search the Museum’s permanent collection by specific object types, culture/people, geographic region, and artist/makers. | Learn more about the Online Catalogue. | View the Online Catalogue.
The Museum's Archive, comprised of primary source materials, including photos, correspondence, and other documentation of cultural and historical significance, enhances the research value of the ethnographic and archaeological collections. | Learn more about the Archives.
The Haffenreffer Museum is a federal repository for approximately 850,000 archaeological objects excavated by Arctic researchers from the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management lands in Alaska. The most important collections are from the northwest Alaskan archaeological sites of Cape Krusenstern and Onion Portage. | Learn more through the Circumpolar Laboratory.
Collections Research Center
The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology's Collections Research Center, located in Bristol, RI, It houses the Museum's main offices and research spaces. Qualified researchers are welcome to visit by appointment. Please contact HaffenrefferMuseum@brown.edu at least three weeks in advance to arrange an appointment.