Museum Archives

Museum Archives

Historic documents from the Museum Archives

The Museum Archives collection dates to the creation of the Field Museum of Natural History and its emergence from the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition.  This collection is comprised of the administrative records of museum departments, museum material culture and the scientific papers of staff members from 1893 to the present. Its holdings encompass nearly 1,800 linear feet of paper material and original museum motion picture films.

    aesai's picture

    Armand Esai

    Museum Archivist Library

Museum Archives Collections

In a black and white photograph, a man wearing a pince-nez as well as a suit and tie holds up a carved horn.

Berthold Laufer Collections

Berthold Laufer (1874-1934), curator of Asian Anthropology from 1908 to 1934, was a pioneer in the study of Asian cultures. With a doctorate in oriental languages from the University of Leipzig, Laufer was a sinologist who was fluent in more than a dozen languages, many of which were non Indo-European. Polymath and polyglot, his interests seemed unbounded and his linguistic skills unequaled.

Archival photo from 1918, showing construction of north facade of the Field Museum building.

Museum Archives Moving Image Collection

The Moving Image Collection documents the Museum’s involvement in scientific explorations, experiences with other cultures, and public education. The Moving Image Collection was generated by the institution's collecting, exhibiting and teaching activities. A significant portion of the Moving Image Collection was created during the 1920's and 30's when the Museum sponsored many expeditions around the world.