With the help of funding from the Well House Society, IU’s newest museum will be opening this fall. The support will help to enable the new IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to present the university’s world-class collections of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts in specially designed collection areas, exhibits, and learning spaces that will make its materials and activities more open and accessible than most museums by presenting an “inside-out” perspective for visitors.
The “inside-out” approach of the museum will be physical, intellectual and technological. Visitors will be able to walk behind the scenes of the museum to see collections in storage, and peer into labs and workspaces to learn about museum research and study. Learning and program spaces will connect offsite teachers and students to museum educators and curators for research and education. And technology in the exhibit galleries will enable visitors to engage with objects and places in new ways.
Virtual reality will highlight this approach and provide an immersive component of the museum’s featured exhibition on Angel Mounds, an important Native American site that dates between 1050 and 1450. The IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology curates over 2 million artifacts from the Angel Mounds National Historic Landmark Site, a Mississippian site on the banks of the Ohio River in southwest Indiana. The museum’s work is informed by collaboration with representatives from Native American tribes descended from Mississippian people of Indiana.
In his September 2019 “The State of Indiana University at the Bicentennial” speech, former IU President Michael A. McRobbie announced the creation of this museum as part of the university’s ongoing effort to care for its collections and preserve the knowledge they hold. As a result, the museum brings together over 5 million artifacts formerly housed at the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology and the Mathers Museum of World Cultures to tell the story of humanity, from the rich heritage of Indiana’s First Peoples to the lives of contemporary Hoosiers, and how those stories are connected to peoples around the world.
The IU Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will open to the public in October 2023. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit its website at iumaa.iu.edu