Faculty Services

There are many opportunities for faculty and students to use the Haffenreffer Museum’s collections in teaching and research.

The Haffenreffer provides support for courses in areas including American civilization, anthropology, archaeology, art history, history, ethnic studies, and public humanities. We co-sponsor courses with the departments of Anthropology and American Civilization, and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World.  Faculty can choose from the 110,00 artifacts in the collections that might be of use in their classes or research.  The Museum staff is available to help find needed materials, and our on-line database will be ready soon.  The Faculty Fellows Program helps to train Brown University faculty to better use museum collections and resources in their teaching.

Your class is welcome to visit the Haffenreffer Museum's exhibits located in Manning Hall. Current exhibits are listed here. The Museum is free and open to the public Tuesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Groups of more than ten participants are encouraged to call 401-863-5700 at least two weeks in advance to schedule the space. There is a maximum of 40 group participants allowed in the Museum at any one time.

We can bring objects to classes on campus along with museum experts to work with them, or to help explain how to use material culture evidence.  Faculty are welcome to schedule a class in our CultureLab in Manning Hall, storing objects needed there.  To see how this is currently being done, stop by Manning Hall and take a look at the objects being used by several courses in anthropology, archaeology, and ethnic studies in our CultureLab.

In addition, Faculty are invited to use museum artifacts at the Collections Research Center in Bristol. We have completely revamped our storage areas, and almost everything in the collection is not only in good environmental conditions; it’s also now easily accessible. Classes are welcome to visit the Collections Research Center.  We can set up a tour, or pull objects from storage for seminars.  A RISD Jewelry class recently took advantage of this and a wonderful time was had by all learning about adornment from around the globe (see photo).

The Museum offers space in Manning for class-curated exhibitions – and we’re open to the possibility of exhibitions elsewhere on campus.  We can provide exhibit cases and appropriate artifacts for interested departments.  We are always open to suggestions, so please feel free to contact us about any ideas or requests you may have. 

Finally, a limited number of small grants for systematic field collecting are available to Brown University faculty, museum staff, and advanced students in anthropology. Those who are preparing to go into the field and who may be interested should consult with the Museum's director and/or curatorial staff about an appropriate collection that could be made for the Museum. Together they will develop a responsible strategy for collecting, documentation, fiscal accounting, and shipping materials.

"Using the Haffenreffer's objects in the Manning display case for my Fall course, Comparative Native American History, was a big addition to the class! One of the class assignments was to write a short speculative essay about one of the objects, and it generated some of the best writing of the semester"

Jeremy Ravi Mumford

Department of History

For further information contact:

Kevin P. Smith, Deputy Director