Collections The archaeological collections size is estimated at 1.5 million artifacts.  Given the nature of archaeological assemblages, which often include thousands of pieces of debitage, fragmented animal bone, and large amounts of wood charcoal, it is difficult to establish a precise count.  Instead, the estimate provides a good measure of the 5,500 cubic feet of artifact collections and associated records.  These collections comprise one of the largest of prehistoric and historic artifacts within the state of Kansas and include some of the best North American Central Plains systematic materials from late Paleoindian, Archaic, and Kansas City Hopewell sites.

Collection Highlights

This section is organized by geographic regions and provides representative images, metadata information and collection guides to some of our extensive collections.


The archaeological archives contain paper documents such as manuscripts, field notes, correspondence, proposals and preparatory work; large-scale drawings and maps; black and white photographs, negatives, and color slides; audio tapes; and digital files.

Collection History

Collection history

Like many academic institutions, archaeological materials first came to the University of Kansas due to interests of professors in various disciplines.

Accessing the Collection

Collections access

To schedule a visit, please contact one of the Curators in advance.  Include a statement of your research and the specific collections and/or archives for which you are requesting access. We have limited lab space available for visiting researchers who have scheduled a visit.