University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Navajo Rug [Object of the Day #61]

Navajo Rug

By: Ashley Harper

This rug is an example of the beautiful geometric design, colors and skill of the Navajo weaver. Rugs and blankets like these have been prized by Europeans for many decades, especially in the late 1880’s. The market created by Europeans has helped sustain artisans as well as introduced new materials and techniques to their traditions. […]

Egyptian Wand [Object of the Day #57]


By: Ashley Harper

This wand was carved from a hippopotamus tusk and decorated with nine magical figures including a lion, frog, gazelle, vulture and a cat.  Each of these figures are seated on top of a hieroglyph. The lion head is seen at larger end of the tusk and a jackal head decorates the pointy end of the […]

New York Times Spotlights Stewart Culin’s work at the Brooklyn Museum

By: Josh

Philadelphia ethnographer Stewart Culin worked as director of the Penn Museum from 1892 to 1903 and was instrumental in acquiring the Historic Games Collection. After his time here, Culin became a curator at the Brooklyn Museum and helped establish their African gallery. A recent New York Times article has more on the subject and the […]

The Silk Road Smile Contest

By: Josh

Meet the “Yingpan Man”. He is on display as part of our Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition which runs through March 15th with all mummies and artifacts. His mysterious smile has been compared to that of the Mona Lisa… What am I thinking? Submit your caption as a comment on Facebook and we’ll pick […]

Inside Info: The Silk Road Exhibition

By: Josh

Hi! Social Media Josh here. Just got done my lunch break and decided to hop upstairs and pay a visit to the Secrets of the Silk Road Exhibition. The staff here really did an amazing job. The atmosphere, artifacts, music and mummies provide an experience that can’t be matched. The interactive portions all provide hands-on […]

Boy Scouts at the Penn Museum

By: Bea Jarocha-Ernst

Every day that something cool comes out of our archives image database is a good day.  There are just so many amazing photos from years gone by relating to all sorts of stuff! Most recently we came across this gem. The Development Office’s awesome intern, Jessica, has been putting together some marketing and outreach letter […]

Crating and Packing

By: Stephen Lang

After spending some time in Osaka seeing the sites, ( bunraku, fugu, kobe beef, Ceramics Museum, shopping) I headed to the city of Nara ready to get down to work.  I arrived at the museum with the intention of condition reporting  our statue and its base and then overseeing the crating of each.  If time […]

Good questions!

By: Maureen Callahan

I recently received a very thoughtful email from a reader (a graduate student in a museum studies program) who had some questions about what we do here at the archives — I thought that I would post his thoughts and my replies for our readers’ edification. His email: Hello. I am a graduate student taking […]

Automation in action

By: Scott Williams

Maureen: Digitization is iterative. There was a time that every institution with a desktop scanner and a work-study student was scanning every item they could lay their hands on like kids in candy stores, and throwing them up onto the web without thinking much about the user experience. Now that we’re at a point of […]

Getting our collections on the web – step one.

By: Maureen Callahan

Non-nerds may want to amuse themselves elsewhere… So, we at the museum are moving to a new collections management system. A year away from data migration, the archives and the collections staff are teaming up to figure out the best way to make sense of our images, clean them up, take care of them, and […]

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