Collections

Collections at the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto, St. George Campus

The objects curated at the Department of Collections PictureAnthropology consist of several different collections: the Ontario collections (artifacts and human remains), the J.C.B. Grant Collection (human remains), and a collection of purchased objects, consisting of skeletal material, casts and models of artifacts and human anatomy. These collections are divided into those used for research and those used for teaching.

Research Collections

The Department of Anthropology research collections are comprised of:

Ontario Archaeological Collection – The Ontario Archaeological Collection consists of artifacts from approximately 49 sites in Ontario. The sites were excavated between 1939 and 1982 by the students and faculty of the Department of Anthropology. The sites date from the Middle Archaic to the 17th century. There are approximately 1 million objects in the Ontario Archeological Collection.

Ontario Archaeologically-Derived Human Remains – Consists of First Nation and European human remains and associated funerary objects from archaeological sites in Ontario

J.C.B. Grant Collection – Consists of the skeletal remains of 202 adults who were received by the Anatomy Department between 1928 and the early 1950’s, largely from local hospitals and welfare institutions. Name, sex, age at death and cause of death are documented for each individual.

Photo of dental casts
Dental Casts from the Dental Collection

Dental Anthropology Research Collection – Consists of oral casts, cephalographs, health records and a five generation genealogy from work done from 1968 to 1973 during the International Biological Program – Human Adaptability Section, at the Wainwright, Alaska and Fox Basin (Igloolik), NWT sites. Also in the collection are dental casts from Sadlermiut (archaeological), Thule, Rama (SW United States), Auca (Ecuador), and as well as other materials.

Wendat Retained Samples – Consists of teeth and small samples of disease-altered bone from archaeologically-derived human skeletons that were reburied at the Thonnakona Ossuary in September, 2013, by the Huron-Wendat Nation. Held in trust for the Huron-Wendat Nation. Details about the nature and extent of this collection are available, through the Chair of the Repatriation Committee, Department of Anthropology.

Teaching Collections

The teaching collections are comprised of purchased equipment and objects, including faunal and human skeletal material, casts, models and artifacts.

Use of Collections

The collections are used for two purposes: research and teaching. The following are conditions regarding the use of the collections:

1) No First Nations human remains will be used in undergraduate teaching or research.

2) In exceptional circumstances, graduate students, faculty and academic researchers may request access to the collection of Ontario Archaeologically-Derived Human Remains through the Chair of the Department of Anthropology. Research must conform to the guidelines of and be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Research Ethics Board.

3) Senior level study of the J.C.B. Grant Collection and Dental Anthropology Research Collection requires the supervision of a faculty member or lecturer and the notification of the Lab Technician. For study of the J.C.B. Grant Collection, research must conform to the guidelines of and be reviewed and approved by the appropriate Research Ethics Board.

4) The teaching collections are intended for use in undergraduate classes under supervision of a faculty member and/or teaching assistant.

Access to Collections at the Department of Anthropology

1) The faculty of the Department of Anthropology have access to the collections through the Lab Technician. All full-time faculty may borrow objects from the teaching collection on short-term loan for use in the classroom or lab. A list of other designated individuals (lecturers) who may borrow objects on short term loan for classroom use will be compiled each year. An internal loan form must be completed and filed with the Lab Technician if the collections are removed from their normal location.

2) Graduate students and other researchers in the Department of Anthropology must receive approval for access to the research collections through the Chair of the Department and the advice of the appropriate faculty. Research must be under the supervision of a faculty member or lecturer. Once approval is given, access to the research collections can be arranged through the Lab Technician. A Use of Collections form must be completed.

3) Outside researchers must receive approval for access to the research collections through the Chair of the Department on the advice of the appropriate faculty and notification of the Lab Technician. A brief research proposal must be included with the request for access to the collections. The proposal must describe any procedures that will involve destructive methods. Once approval is given, access to the collections must be arranged through the Lab Technician. A Use of Collections form must be completed.

To protect site location information, original documentation may be viewed only by researchers who are affiliated with a public institution. Members of the public who are interested in site documentation should be encouraged to contact the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, Archaeology and Heritage Planning, Cultural Programs Branch.

4) Requests for loans from outside researchers must be approved by the Chair of the Department and conform to the Departmental Loan Policy. The material on loan must be housed at a reputable institution for the duration of the loan.

5) Requests for repatriation will be referred to the Chair of the Department who will forward them to the Repatriation Committee. This committee will then follow the steps outlined in the Repatriation Policy.

6) Research access to the Wendat Retained Samples is determined by the Huron-Wendat Council, 255 Place Chef Michel Laveau, Wendake, Quebec G0A 4V0. Contact the Chair of the Repatriation Committee, Department of Anthropology, for further information.

Exhibitions

The Department of Anthropology will strive to have an exhibition environment that will conform to museum standards in terms of lighting levels and ultraviolet radiation, materials used in the construction of the exhibits, and the safety and security of the objects.

1) No First Nations human remains and no First Nations objects identified as sacred will be exhibited.

2) Objects judged to be fragile will not be exhibited.

For further information, please contact Kathy David