Smithsonian Anthropology Collections Database

The Jeffersonian—oops! no, Dr. “Bones” Brennan doesn’t work here—Smithsonian Institution has a nice, online Anthropology Collections Database. It “includes 97% of the cataloged specimens that are currently in the Ethnology and Archaeology collections. New records are added as specimens are cataloged. The online records include the fields of information most commonly requested by researchers, including digital images. Over 34,000 digital photographs of objects are currently available, with more added every week.” There is a page explaining the database’s copyright and usage rules: “Subsets of the information, records, or images in one or more of the databases may be used, downloaded, reproduced, publicly displayed, distributed, or reprinted strictly for educational, scientific, scholarly, and other non-profit uses provided that the following attribution appears in all copies:  ‘Information provided with the permission of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, 10th and Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, DC 20560-0193. ('” Unfortunately, most archaeological artifacts are not illustrated and the information is generally speaking limited. Still, it’s a good start for assessing the holdings. Here’s an example of one of the objects that has a photo: “Earthenware Mound Pottery,” Scott Co., MO.


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