Museum Collections


Cypress Street Collection

The Cypress Street collection is the result of three archaeological excavations conducted at the property of 310 Cypress Street, Philadelphia PA. The artifacts gleaned from these excavations showcase the material culture of the Philadelphia Almshouse from the mid 1700s into the 1800s. 


Friedlaender Collection

The Friedlaender collection includes a number of artifacts Dr. Jonathan Friedlaender, Temple Anthropology Professor Emeritus of Biological Anthropology, was gifted, traded, or purchased from individuals he met during his fifty years of research in the Solomon Islands.The collection of 153 items, which includes masks, jewelry, musical instruments, and weapons, was donated to the Department of Anthropology in the summer of 2007.



Kaxinawá Collection

The Kensinger/Kaxinawá collection showcases 259 ethnographic materials collected from the Kaxinawá people of easten Peru by researcher Kenneth Kensinger. It was graciously donated to Temple University by Kensinger in 1968.This collection contains over 200 artifacts that reflect the material culture of the Kaxinawá. The artifacts in this collection include feather headdresses, jewelry, pottery vessels, clay dolls, textiles (including looms with weaving in progress) gourd masks, a few tools, bows and arrows, other weapons, and basketry.



Metepec Collection

The Metepec collection features pottery and ceramics from Metepec, Mexico. The collection includes the entire ceramic inventory of two households, as well as pottery purchased in the Metepec market, stone tools used in the households, and tools for pottery production. 



Miller Toba Collection

The objects in this collection were gathered by former Temple Anthropology faculty Elmer Miller during his ethnographic field studies among the Toba people in the Chaco region of Argentina. This collection features pottery, basketry, gaming pieces, toys, bows and arrows, shell spoons, and other artifacts suited to a hunting and gathering culture.


O'Brien Collection

The O'Brien collection consists more than 80 artifacts, many from the West New Guinea Highlands, gathered during former Temple Anthropology Faculty member Denise O'Brien's extensive research among the Dani people of the Konda Valley in the Western New Guinea Highlands. O’Brien’s research interests included women’s roles in Pacific island social systems, and she also taught in the Women’s Studies program at Temple.  Some of the artifacts in this collection reflect these interests. 





Penn Museum Collection

This collection contains a variety of artifacts from different geographical areas, donated to the Temple University Anthropology Museum by the University of Pennsylvania.

Philadelphia Commercial Museum Collection

The Philadelphia Commercial Museum was founded in 1897 by Dr. William P. Wilson and was initially intended to be a permanent World’s Fair exhibition located in Philadelphia. Its exhibits depicted global commerce and sought to entice trade between the US and other countries around the world. More importantly, the purpose of the Commercial Museum’s collections was to reassure American investors and businessmen that commercial expansionism could bring all of the benefits of imperialism, without any of the negatives.




Waldegg Collection

This ethnographic collection reflects the findings of Dr. Hermann von Walde-Waldegg's research throughout northern South America (including the San Augustin region) and Solomon Islands. The collection was originally donated to Boston College later to arrive at the Temple Anthropology museum in 1966. Artifacts include floral and faunal specimens, manioc graters, sieves, a canoe, weapons, pottery and musical instruments. Artifacts originating from the Solomon Islands include basketry, paddles, and arrows.


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Davenport Collection

The sculptures featured in the ​Davenport Collection were acquired in the Eastern Solomon Islands by ​Dr. William H. Davenport. Davenport started his fieldwork in ​1958 in what was then known as the British Solomon Islands. The collection consists of artifacts obtained ​by ​Davenport over the course of his ​visits to the Santa Ana, Santa Catalina, ​and San Cristobal Islands.