As the major repository for anthropological and archaeological research materials for New Mexico and the greater Southwest, the Laboratory is charged with preservation, conservation, and curation of invaluable collections which are a central part of the cultural heritage of the region and its indigenous communities. The museum has extensive holding of various types, these include:
The museum's more than 75,000 exhibition quality objects include some of the first artifacts collected from Southwest Native American communities by the Museum of New Mexico at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as materials acquired by the Laboratory of Anthropology from its inception in 1931.
Archaeological Research Collections
The Research Collections constitute the museum's largest collection, and are an important part of New Mexico's cultural heritage. Representing the largest assemblage of archaeological materials in New Mexico, the Repository contains about 5 - 10 million artifacts.
Center for New Mexico Archaeology
When completed, the Center for New Mexico Archaeology (CNMA) will be a central facility for archaeological research, curation, and education in the state of New Mexico.
Laboratory of Anthropology Library
The Laboratory of Anthropology houses a unique special collections and research library dedicated to the study of Native cultures, as well as anthropological, archaeological and historical research of the greater Southwest.
The museum's archives contain institutional and ethnographic records including 8,000 historic and contemporary images; manuscript archives documenting early Laboratory of Anthropology staff projects; and papers and correspondence relating to the history of anthropology in the Southwest.
Collections Policies & Procedures
The policy descriptions and forms available on this web site are provided for researchers and other individuals interested in using the MIAC collections for research or submitting artifacts and records to the ARC.
These collections are available to Laboratory staff and other interested parties working with the materials at the Laboratory and at off-site locations.
The Laboratory of Anthropology furthers understanding of the Southwest's Indian communities through research and education focused on the region's indigenous cultures and their history. The Laboratory's interests are fourfold: studying past and present cultures through field work, collection and analysis; documenting and preserving anthropological and archaeological materials in the Laboratory's holdings; providing training opportunities in anthropological and archaeological research methods and projects; and disseminating the results of anthropological and archaeological research to Native communities, the general public, and scholarly audiences.