Last updated: 12/20/2011
Providence, Rhode Island
Street Address
21 Prospect St.
Providence, RI 02912
Mailing Address
300 Tower St.
Bristol, RI 02809
Sunday, Tuesday - Saturday10 AM - 4 PM
Steven Lubar, Director
phone: 401-863-2065
Kevin Smith, Deputy Director
phone: 401-863-2065
Carol Dutton, Administrator
phone: 401-863-2065

Changing exhibitions in Manning Hall, at the center of Brown University's campus, highlight the museum's collections from around the world and the work of Brown University faculty, staff and students. The museum also offers public lectures, performances, symposia, festivals, school activities, and a broad range of programs and events for all ages.


The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is Brown University's teaching museum. A resource across the university, we inspire creative and critical thinking about culture by fostering interdisciplinary understanding of the material world. We provide opportunities for faculty and students to work with collections and the public, teaching through objects and programs in classrooms, in the gallery in Manning Hall, and at the Collections Research Center.


The Museum originated with the private collection of Rudolf F. Haffenreffer, who founded the King Philip Museum in the early 20th century on the Mount Hope Grant in Bristol RI, the former headquarters of Metacom, or King Philip, a 17th-century Wampanoag sachem. The Museum became part of Brown University in 1955 and opened its galleries on the Brown campus in 2006. Originally, its collections focused on local archaeological materials, but soon expanded to include much of North America. Today, the Museum houses artifacts from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Artifact Collections

The Museum's holdings total more than one million items. While strongest in Native North American materials, the museum also contains significant material from Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, including:

  • -70,000 archeological and 6,000 ethnological objects from North America
  • -2,500 archeological and 3,000 ethnological items from South and Central America
  • -40 archeological and 3,000 ethnological items from Africa, some by contemporary artisans
  • -400 archeological and 400 ethnological items from Europe
  • -1,100 ethnological items from Asia
  • -1,500 ethnological items from Oceania
  • The museum is also a federally-designated repository for 900,000 archaeological objects excavated by Arctic researchers from National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management lands in Alaska.
  • Research Collections

    The Haffenreffer Museum Research Collections Center's photographic archive, in addition to collection record shots, contains photographs from the founder's archives, the Spinden collection of images of Central and South America, and field photographs that accompanied collections. The Center library has some 10,000 volumes. Highlights of the collection include the following:

  • -The Kensinger Collection has over 5000 photographs and related field notes and texts from Anthropologist Ken Kensingers research with the Cashinahua of Peru from 1960 - 1996
  • -The Conti Collection has over 3000 photographs dating from the late 1950s through the early 1970s taken by Rhode Island photographer Gino Conti, primarily on the Hopi, Apache and Navaho reservations, and also in Mexico.
  • -Photographs of Southwest prehistoric petroglyphs taken by Salvatore Mancini, many of which are published by the Museum in the book Terra Incognita.
  • -Lithographs, serigraphs and two dimensional artwork by and about the Inuit, the Ainu, Plains Indians and many others.
  • Educational Programs

    In addition to extensive educational programs for Brown students, the Museum provides structured group programs delivered to local schools and an extensive array of public lectures.



    Lecture Halls

    Performance Areas


    The Museum is part of Brown University.


    Access: Scholars

    Appointment required: Yes


    Annual report


    Wheelchair Accessible

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