Ethnology & History

  • Alaska Native Dolls

    Alaska Native Dolls

  • Athabascan Footwear

    Athabascan Footwear

  • Russian Lacquer Box

    Russian Lacquer Box

  • Yup'ik Grass Baskets

    Yup'ik Grass Baskets

Ethnology is the branch of anthropology that analyzes aspects of contemporary human cultures and societies, both in terms meaningful to them, and comparatively across space and time. History, at UAMN, is the study of the people, activities, stories, and objects found in Alaska.

The Ethnology Collection includes over 13,000 objects made and used by Alaska Natives (Inupiaq and Yup'ik Eskimos, northwest coast and Athabascan Indians, and Aleuts) from the 1800's to the present. The collections hold artifacts from nearly every one of the 229 Federally Recognized Tribes (Alaska Native villages), and from all of the cultures represented by the 20 distinct Native languages in Alaska. In addition, objects from Siberia, Canada, and Greenland serve as comparative examples of other circumpolar people. Exceptional collections include basketry, clothing, household items, dolls, and subsistence tools.

The History Collection has over 3,000 manufactured objects representing Alaska's history from the Russian American period through the present. Notable collections include firearms, gold extraction technology and equipment, mountaineering gear, and household items, as well as Leonhard Seppala's sled dog racing trophies and Ben Eielson's airplane.

The collections are available to researchers upon appointment and for loan to other institutions.


Senior Collections Manager: Angela J. Linn, M.A.
Curator Emerita: Molly Lee, Ph.D.

Explore the Collection

The Ethnology & History collections are now available online.

Caring for Your Collections

Click here to learn how you can preserve your own collections for future generations.

Donating Your Collections

Click here to learn about the benefits of donating your collections to the UAMN ethnology & history department.

AKEthnoGirl on Wordpress

Ever wondered about what goes on behind-the-scenes in museum collections departments? Senior Collections Manager, Angela Linn, has a blog! Head over to Wordpress to experience one perspective on the life of a museum collections professional.

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