Watch Prof. Stephen Greenblatt explain why the Peabody Museum is a great resource for faculty and students.
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 object-based learning. Harvard faculty and teaching fellows are welcome and encouraged to make use of its collections as part of their course curricula.
Accessing the Collections
The Peabody’s online collections database can be accessed directly. If needed it can be linked to your course website, allowing you and your students to integrate objects in lectures and discussions.
You can also access collections by contacting Associate Curator Diana Loren (email@example.com) at the Peabody.
Examples: Peabody Museum Collections in Teaching
- Museum objects in the classroom. The Museum will deliver collections for in-classroom discussion in the Museum for sections and seminars. If your course does not regularly meet at the Museum, we can make arrangements for your students to meet in our facilities with a specific group of objects.
- Research Hours. Faculty can schedule class visits for students to view and work with objects in our dedicated collections viewing area.
- Storage visits and exhibition tours. Tours of our storage locations and exhibitions led by staff can be arranged.
- Teaching displays. Short-term exhibits that feature Museum collections chosen around a theme or topic related to a course can be installed on the third-floor teaching gallery of the Museum. Students can view the display during public Museum hours (9 AM-5 PM). Teaching Displays work especially well for large classes or sections.
- Student-created teaching displays. Working with museum staff, faculty occasionally use teaching displays to allow a course to curate a small exhibition. (In some cases, students in the course work collaboratively towards a final product, such as an online exhibition or teaching display.)
- Portfolios of Museum objects listed online. The Museum can create specialized web listings of Museum objects that can be directly linked to your course iSite. To see examples, click here.
Scheduling Class Visits, Research, & Tours
Two weeks' advance notice is required for scheduling class visits, research, and tours. Teaching displays require one-month advance notice.
Please contact Associate Curator 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 give workshops for Teaching Fellows in preparation for section meetings and to develop course-specific materials related to the collections.