Skip to main content

University of Northern Colorado, Museum of Anthropology records

 Collection
Identifier: RG017

Collection Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials related to the UNC Museum of Anthropology including museum accession records and file cards with photographs and descriptions of individual artifacts. Also included are exhibit files containing notes, handouts, and some photographs and sketches of the exhibits. Documentation regarding the UNC Museum of Anthropology publications program, which published Occasional Publications in Anthropology, is also found in this collection along with correspondence concerning the closing of the museum in the early 1980s and the disposition of artifacts. A detailed list of artifacts transferred to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science upon closure of the Museum of Anthropology is included in this collection as well.

Dates

  • 1959 - 2011

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. User is responsible for all copyright compliance. Please contact the Archives and Special Collections Department for further information.

Oganizational History

In the early 1900’s, the Colorado State Normal School (now UNC) was home to various museums including an Anthropological Museum. Artifacts, largely donated by faculty members, were recorded in Museum Registers from 1903 through 1909. Over half of these items were destroyed in the Cranford Hall fire in 1949. The museum continued to be housed in Cranford Hall until relocating to Classroom Building II (Candelaria Hall) in 1973. This new space allowed for expansion of the museum within the Anthropology Department. Under the leadership of Director John Mickey, Curator of Education Nellie Denning, and curatorial consultant Peter Corey, the museum moved to an interactive teaching model accessible to all educational levels. Exhibits such as Navajo textiles and Iroquois beadwork offered experiences for visitors to try their hand at stitching beads and weaving. In another exhibit, a Cheyenne teepee was erected so that visitors could enter and then handle related reproduction artifacts in order to gain some insight into the Plains Indian culture. Another endeavor of the Museum of Anthropology was a publications program managed by Dr. George Fay. In 1967, the President’s Council accepted Occasional Papers in Anthropology as an official publication of Colorado State College. The Occasional Papers included approximately 90 titles within four series - Archaeology, Ethnology, Linguistics, and Miscellaneous. The Museum of Anthropology suffered from lack of funding throughout its existence, but university-wide budget cuts in 1982 brought the program to an end. UNC President Robert Dickeson’s controversial “Comprehensive Program Analysis” almost eliminated the Anthropology Department altogether but ultimately combined it with Black Studies and Women’s Studies, reducing Anthropology from ten to two full-time faculty positions and offering only a minor degree in the discipline. With the closure of the museum, Dr. Claude Johns, Dean of Libraries, was given responsibility of the artifact collection. Items that had been on loan were returned to the owners; musical instruments were donated to the UNC School of Music; and several African artifacts were gifted to the UNC Marcus Garvey Cultural Center. The remaining artifacts were given or placed on permanent loan to the City of Greeley Museum, the Denver Museum of Natural History, and the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center. The space in Candelaria that had housed the museum was reconfigured to be a television studio for the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Extent

3.33 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Overview

This collection consists of materials documenting the activities of the UNC Museum of Anthropology including accession and exhibit records, detailed descriptions of artifacts, and correspondence regarding the closing of the museum and disposition of artifacts.

Collection Arrangement

The collection is arranged alphabetically by topic.

Acquisition Information

The bulk of the materials in this collection were transferred to the University Libraries in 1982 and 1983 after the Museum of Anthropology closed. In 2011, Peggy Whitehead of the Denver Museum of Nature and Science donated 2 CD’s containing electronic copies of lists describing and noting disposition of artifacts that were sent to DMNS upon the closing of the Museum of Anthropology.

Related Materials

The bound Museum Registers are located in RG013 - University of Northern Colorado, Libraries records, Box # RG13.S7 F1 005 (U185012643466).

The Occasional Publications in Anthropology are available in the Archives at Michener Library. The different series are cataloged as follows: Archaeology series – GN4.O25; Ethnology series – GN4.O26; Linguistics series – GN4.O27; Miscellaneous series – GN4.O28

The following publications of the Museum of Anthropology have also been cataloged and are available in the Archives - Katunob:occasional publications in Mesoamerican anthropology; Katunob: newsletter-bulletin on Mesoamerican anthropology; El Dorado; Occasional Publications in Classical Studies (OPCS); Treaties between the Indian Tribes of Wisconsin and the United States of America; and Bibliography of Fossil Man.

Separated Materials

The "Occasional Publications in Anthropology" - Archaeology, Ethnology, Linguistics, and Miscelleneous series were separated and cataloged as part of University Publications in July 2019.

Katunob:occasional publications in Mesoamerican anthropology; Katunob: newsletter-bulletin on Mesoamerican anthropology; El Dorado; Occasional Publications in Classical Studies (OPCS); Treaties between the Indian Tribes of Wisconsin and the United States of America; and Bibliography of Fossil Man were separated and cataloged as part of University Publications in Sept 2020.
The following items were transferred to Dr. Andy Creekmore for the UNC Anthropology Department:

1)Artifacts that were possibly used in exhibits or as teaching tools in the museum (Contents of RG17.S001.F7 Boxes 1 & 2: Chamois cloth, black scarf, plaster faces, small cloth teepee, felt chaps, wooden rulers, various wooden dowels, rocks, leather bound bone, metal rods with string, “Happy Teepee” peace pie (souvenir/toy), Loveland Co painted rock, Bamboo percussion instruments, metal/camping cooking utensils, tiny souvenir whiskey jug, Clay figures, wooden top, wooden woodwind instrument, mortar & pestle, pottery fragments, limestone form Austin, TX, Vista Colorado rocks, boxes of rocks, Bandelier National Monument rocks, fragmented clay pipe, incense dish, small pottery container with lid).

2) Original museum identification tag for Sitting Bull related war club located in the Anthropology Department collection. (Removed from Box #001 Folder 14 – “Artifacts–73.1, X-file, 1973”)

Variant Identifier Number

The following series were merged into one collection during the Record Group Collection Management Project: RG017.S001 - Museum Records; RG017.S002 - Anthropology Museum Publications; RG017.S003 - Office of Public and Contract Archaeology; RG017.S004 - Excavation Slides; RG017.S005 - Denver Museum of Nature and Science UNC Greeley Collection. Later, it was determined that the Office of Public and Contract Archaeology and Excavation Slides should form a separate collection – RG017-S003. Museum Records, Publications, and the DMNS UNC Greeley collection formed the UNC, Museum of Anthropology records (RG017).

Processing Information

Processed by Shan Watkins, 2020.
Status
Completed
Author
Shirley Soenksen, updated by Shan Watkins
Date
2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Edition statement
Inventories prepared in 1993 with updates in 1994, 1999, 2001, and 2015. Updated to conform to DACS in 2018. Collection reprocessed and revision to finding aid completed January 2020.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Northern Colorado Repository

Contact:
University Libraries
James A. Michener Library L119
Campus Box 48
Greeley CO 80639