Collections & collectors


Collections are the essence and the life blood of any museum, whatever the collections may be: paintings, porcelains, racing cars, steam locomotives, barbed wire, or—in the case of The Field Museum in Chicago—the approximately 25 million natural history specimens and cultural objects cared for (we prefer the word curated) by the Museum's Department of Science & Education. 


Effective stewardship of collections calls from their physical care and conservation, not just their study and interpretation.


However, it is our conviction that museum research, collections care, and conservation work are not just about looking after the things in our safekeeping in a responsible and appropriate manner.  

Museum collections can also be a way to build relationships and real partnerships between museums as public places and people outside such institutions who care as much about these "things" as we do.




Highlights from the Field Museum of Natural History's Pacific and island Southeast Asia Collections

©  Department of Anthropology, Field Museum