For Faculty

How to Use Peabody Museum Collections in Teaching

The Peabody Museum serves the Harvard community as a valuable resource, through which students, faculty, and staff can explore and celebrate ancient and contemporary cultures, historical events, spirituality, and the creativity and innovations of the peoples and nations of our world. An integral part of the museum's mission is to make collections accessible to the Harvard community and to provide students with the opportunity for formal and informal collections-based learning. Harvard faculty and teaching fellows are welcome and encouraged to make use of its collections as part of their course curricula.

Collections-based learning provides students with unique moments of knowledge production through hands-on learning that will stand out in their Harvard experience. Using original materials helps to make classroom concepts concrete, provokes questions, and animates discussions, providing a valuable tool toward creating an inspiring classroom.

The Peabody Museum stewards vast archaeological, archival, ethnographic, and osteological collections representing peoples and cultures from around the world, and across millions of years. Faculty in many Harvard departments and programs make use of these collections for teaching and learning, as well as for independent research, and we encourage all faculty to contact us and engage with the Peabody Museum’s artifacts and staff expertise.


  • To see what the Peabody Museum may have to offer your class, you can begin by searching our Collections Online, and submit the online Collections Access Request Form. You may also contact Diana Loren, Director of Academic Partnerships at to discuss how we might develop effective ways of incorporating specific collections into your course teaching. Peabody Museum staff are also available to give workshops for Teaching Fellows in preparation for section meetings and to develop course-specific materials related to the collections.
    • Two weeks' advance notice is required for scheduling class visits, research, and tours. Teaching displays require one-month advance notice.
    • Please contact Diana Loren as you prepare for next semester’s courses so that we may best accommodate your requests and develop effective ways to incorporate collections specific to your course needs.
  • Peabody Museum staff are also available to support faculty and staff research. 

Watch Prof. Stephen Greenblatt explain why the Peabody Museum is a great resource for faculty and students. 

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