Division of Anthropology Archives houses approximately 670 linear feet of archival material, dating from the 1890's to the present. The collection includes accession documentation, original catalogs, field notes, photographs, artwork pertaining to AMNH publications in anthropology, and Divisional correspondence from 1894 to the present.
Adolph Bandelier, a Swiss-American archaeologist, and his wife, Fanny, collected over 7,900 pre-Columbian artifacts during an expedition to Peru and Bolivia in the 1890s. In addition to the artifacts they collected, the Bandeliers made 116 colorful pencil, ink, and watercolor drawings of the prehistoric ruins they visited during their travels.
The collection of Peruvian archaeologist Victoria de la Jara consists of her research on ancient symbols, especially Inka tokapus, as forms of alternative writing. It includes her notes and documentation in publications, and presentations, as well as her correspondence from the years 1966-1993.
During his Pacific expeditions, Otto Finsch compiled an extensive archive including an object catalog, a manuscript, photographs, drawings, and watercolor paintings. The accession file (1898-1949), documenting the purchase of the collection and the archive, includes letters between Otto Finsch, AMNH curator Franz Boas, and AMNH president Morris K. Jesup. The archive is very legibly written in German.
In 1904, objects collected by Berthold Laufer during an expedition to China (1901-1904) were installed in the Southwest Gallery (Chinese Hall) on the third floor of the museum. The exhibition illustrated the industrial and domestic life of the Chinese, their amusements, their religion, and their arts. Laufer's guide was never published. It is heavily edited by Laufer and still in galley form.
American Anthropologist Frederick Starr joined the missionary/explorer Samuel Verner on a collecting expedition to the Congo from 1905-1906. He collected nearly 5,000 artifacts including musical instruments, shields, baskets, masks, stools and games that have become part of the Museum's collection of material culture from the Congo region. Starr's field notes relating to the AMNH collection have been transcribed and linked to the artifacts, and are accessible online.