About the Peabody Museum

From towering Native American totem poles and large Maya sculptures to precious artifacts of the ancient world, the Peabody Museum is among the oldest anthropology museums in the world. Founded in 1866 by George Peabody, the museum has one of the finest collections of human cultural history found anywhere.

Examples include...

  • The largest surviving collection of artifacts acquired from Native American people during the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806
  • Important collections from South America, including more than 5,000 ancient Peruvian textiles
  • The finest archaeological documentation of the Maya, as well as the most extensive and varied collection of Mesoamerican artifacts and sculpture outside Mexico
  • Early and rare historical collections from the Pacific Islands, especially Hawaii, Fiji, and Tonga
  • One of the largest photographic archives in the world documenting the cultures of indigenous peoples

The Peabody Museum is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM).

Exhibitions and public programs are the Peabody Museum's principal offerings for the general public. There are up to eight galleries open to the public at the Peabody, including both permanent and special exhibitions. The museum's exhibits feature objects and photographs from its vast collections. With nearly 3000 objects on display, this represents only a fraction of its collection of over 1.2 million objects.

The Peabody Museum...

  • Offers exhibitions, workshops, symposia, and publications
  • Serves a wide public audience through youth and adult educational programs
  • Allows faculty and students to draw upon the collections to enrich classes and research 
  • Is a member of the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture (HMSC) consortium.



Encounters with the Americas gallery.