Central America

Maya Copan Mask

Stone shield with mask, Hieroglyphic Stairway, Copan, Honduras. Peabody Museum Expedition, 1893. Photo by Hillel Burger. PM 93-27-20/C855.

The Peabody Museum has conducted excavations and explorations in Mexico and Central America almost from its first decade. The holdings include many fine Maya and Aztec collections from Mexico, Honduras, and Nicaragua, as well as colonial and historical materials from Mexico. The collections also include significant holdings from lower Central America. Ethnographic items include early twentieth-century textiles, folk art, and masks.

Collection Highlights

  • Alice Melvin Collection of modern Mexican folk art.
  • Aztec figurines, Mexico.
  • Carnegie Institute of Washington, Photographs, 1930s.
  • Carved and painted masks from Mexico and Guatemala.
  • Chichen Itza and Culhuacan, Mexico.
  • Cocle and Veraguas (Panama) excavations.
  • Goodman, Joseph T., Papers, 1888-1914.
  • Images of Copan, Honduras, late 19th-century.
  • Maya sites of Copan, Honduras; Labna, Mexico; Altar de Sacrificios, Kaminaljuyu, Seibal, Holmul, Piedras Negras and Uaxactun, all Guatemala.
  • Nuttall, Zelia (1857-1933), Papers 1886–1912.
  • Osteological collections from Chihuahua, Coahuila, Northern Yucatan, Mexico.
  • Paintings by Tatiana Proskouriakof, Antonio Tejeda, and Jean Charlot depicting the monumental architecture of Meso-America (Carnegie Institute of Washington).
  • Playa de los Muertos and Ulua Valley, Honduras, excavations.
  • Ricketson, Oliver Garrison, Jr., papers and photographs, 1920-1946.
  • Textiles from Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama.
  • Type sherd series from Altar de Sacificios, Guatemala, and Barton Ramie, Belize.

For archival collections that are processed, Finding Aids provide information and detailed descriptions about the contents of manuscript and paper collections. The Archives tries to regularly upload Finding Aids online to HOLLIS for Archival Discovery, a union catalog of Finding Aids created by archival and manuscript repositories at Harvard. To search Finding Aids or browse a list of Peabody Museum Archives collections, please visit the Peabody Museum page on HOLLIS for Archival Discovery.

Related Links


Access Collections

See the Research Visits for more information on accessing collections.