Museum Collections for the Public: Facilitating Lifelong Learning in Kentucky

Grants and Contracts Details


The William S. Webb Museum of Anthropology has three primary purposes. It acquires and maintains anthropological collections, supports anthropological research, and educates the public about anthropological knowledge. The extensive holdings serve to link the past, the present, and the future. The Museum's responsibilities include: to serve a diverse audience from grade school students to the layperson to professionals; to preserve significant, irreplaceable objects; and to contribute to our understanding of past and present cultures through exhibitions, guided school tours, and public outreach activities. As an anthropology museum, the Museum curates and exhibits artifacts that document many different aspects of human behavior. Some artifacts represent cultures from the "ethnographic present," while others from archaeological contexts provide the only surviving evidence of myriad adaptations to diverse natural and social environments. The Museum collects, preserves, studies, exhibits, and interprets these objects to reveal the technologies, artistry, and ingenuity of peoples belonging to cultures vastly different from our own modem society. As the major archaeological curation facility in Kentucky approved for federal- and state-mandated Cultural Resource Management projects, the Museum serves as a secure repository for more than 6,000 separate collections, and continues to add to the repository at the rate of approximately 300 new collections annually. As a university institution, the Museum supports educational and research activities. The museum provides exhibits and interpretive programs designed to broaden visitors' views of the achievements of other cultures. Guided tours and public outre3:chprograms help to educate future generations about human cultural and biological diversity. Graduate and undergraduate students learn professional methods of preparing and curating anthropological specimens and preparing interpretive exhibits. The collections provide an invaluable database for research by faculty, staff, and students, as well as scholars from other educational institutions, museums, government agencies, and professional organizations, particularly in the fields of archaeology and physical anthropology. Institutional History The Museum is a component of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Kentucky and was founded in 1931 by Professors William S. Webb and William D. Funkhouser, principally to curate and exhibit artifacts from their statewide archaeological projects. Founded as a nonprofit, permanent, educational institution operated for the benefit of students, faculty, and staff of the University and, more generally, for the citizens of Kentucky, the Museum was officially renamed in 1995 to honor Prof. Webb's significant contributions to the anthropology program. The museum also works closely with the Kentucky Archeological Survey, which is jointly administered by the Department and the Kentucky Heritage Council (State Historic Preservation Office), to encourage site preservation on public and private land and increase public education of Kentucky's cultural heritage.
Effective start/end date11/1/0410/31/08


  • Institute of Museum and Library Services: $96,314.00


Explore the research topics touched on by this project. These labels are generated based on the underlying awards/grants. Together they form a unique fingerprint.