The Museum’s Archaeology Division is a repository for artifacts from all over the world, including local donated collections. These include Idaho and Oregon Owyhee collections and more recent ones such as The Warm Springs Site. The Museum archaeologist conducts projects and study programs for College of Idaho students and volunteers in areas of interest including artifact identification, pottery assemblage, and curation; May's Archaeology Month is supported by displays of collections not often seen and identification of artifacts from the public.
Archaeology collections at the Museum include:
- Luther Douglas Navajo Indian Ceremonial Sand Paintings
- The Gates-Lewis Collection: An Enduring Presence - Cultural Continuity and Change Among the Peoples of the Desert Southwest
- The Olga Gonzalez Pre-Columbian Collection
- Hopi Basketry
- The James Huntley Native American Lithic Collection
- Meldrum New Guinea Collection
- Nelle Tobias Collection
- The Troxell Collection
- Belgian Congo African Collection
Identification and Donation
Artifact identification and donation are encouraged to help preserve and promote Idaho's cultural heritage. The Museum Archaeologist/Curator uses discretion to accept or reject artifacts from historic to prehistoric times under these conditions:
- The artifact has an Idaho or nearby connection;
- The artifact is in good condition and not over-represented in the collection.
- The artifact is acquired without any restrictions (i.e., long tern-loan or permanent exhibition of the artifact).
- Donor signs a form transferring legal ownership of the artifact to The College of Idaho without conditions.
Donations are tax deductible. IRS regulations prohibit The College of Idaho providing valuation of any donated artifact. Monetary donations, no matter how small, are readily accepted by the museum to help towards future projects.