Ethnology & History
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 is the study of past events and individuals in Alaska, through the examination of material objects.
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 objects of Western manufacture 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.
Curatorial Assistant: Della Hall, M.A.
Curator Emerita: Molly Lee, Ph.D.
The Ethnology & History department is actively seeking volunteers! See the link under Current Projects to learn how you can gain valuable experience working with museum artifacts while having a flexible schedule. No prior experience required - we'll provide the professional training.
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
Ethnology & History collections manager, Angela Linn, has started a blog! Head over to Wordpress to experience another perspective on the behind-the-scenes life of a museum collections professional.