Collecting for more than a century, Arizona State Museum (ASM) holds vast and varied collections focused primarily on the peoples of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Many aspects of our collections are unparalleled by any other comparable museum in the world and rank among the world's most significant resources for the study of the peoples and cultures of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.
In addition to being highlighted in our own exhibitions and research, ASM collections are accessed by scholars and students around the world. Museums throughout the country borrow our materials for their own exhibitions, and book publishers use our images for national and international publications.
Notable Facts About ASM’s Collections
ASM holds a comprehensive collection of Southwest Indian basketry, totalling about 25,000+ woven pieces of rare and outstanding baskets, sandals, cradle boards, mats, cordage, and preserved fibers.
ASM is the nation's largest and busiest state-run archaeological
repository. Materials excavated on Arizona's state lands are curated here for federal
agengies and tribal governments.
ASM holds c. 40,000 ethnographic specimens, including:
ASM's archives holds more than 1,500 linear feet of field notes, diaries, project records, research files, and manuscripts from numerous prominent archaeologists, ethnologists, and institutions. Finding aids to selected collections are available for searching through the Arizona Archives Online.
ASM holds c. 500,000 photographic prints, negatives, and transparencies, plus digital images.
Documentary Relations of the Southwest (DRSW) contains thousands of documentary records on the colonial history of northern Mexico and southwestern United States. Online finding aids allow searching of several archival collections and a database of persons who appear in the historical record of northern New Spain.
AZSITE contains a computerized inventory of archaeological and historical sites within the state of Arizona. Records are available to qualified archaeologists and land managers at the museum or online.
In addition, ASM holds more than 8,000 objects from other areas of the world have been selectively collected as comparative materials and for use by other University of Arizona departments. Examples of these collections include Japanese and Chinese costumes; west African sculpture and masks; Philippine pottery, basketry and weapons; oil lamps and cuneiform tablets from the Middle East; prehistoric Andean textiles; and Old World stone tools.
Note Regarding Appraisals
Ethical guidelines prevent us from providing appraisals. For businesses that can assist you with appraisals you may consult our List of Resources (PDF * ). The list does not indicate any preference or recommendation by the museum. It contains mainly businesses in the Tucson, AZ area. For other areas you may refer to the American Society of Appraisers to locate an appraiser or check with a local gallery that deals with American Indian art.
* PDF requires Adobe Acrobat Reader.
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