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May 17, 2013


Cowley anthropology launches online museum


The anthropology program at Cowley College has unveiled their new online museum of archaeological and ethnographic artifacts. The ‘virtual opening’ occurred Thursday evening at the monthly meeting of the Cowley Public Archaeology & History group, an outreach project of the Cowley Anthropology.



Currently, the online museum includes exhibits of prehistoric and historic archaeological artifacts which have been donated to the program, or collected by Cowley College students in the field as part of the archaeology class. Also on display is a collection of ethnographic items donated to Cowley Anthropology by Minnesota resident Todd Harper. The items were collected by Harper’s father during his career in the United State Navy, and come from the Pacific islands of New Caledonia, and from Tanzania.

“This version of the museum is just a first draft,” says Chris Mayer, head of the anthropology program at Cowley College. “One of the advantages of an online exhibit is agility. We can change and rearrange the displays with just a bit of typing and a few mouse clicks.”

Mayer says the museum will grow in the next few months to include an oral history collection. The web site will also be the home of the Great Plains Ethnomusicology Digital Archive, a project to collect and preserve the rich musical heritage and traditions of the region.

Exhibits at were created by students in the Cowley Anthropology program: Valerie Brown, Robin Greenup, Derl Hicks and Manuel Olivas. Olivas was the first Cowley anthropology major to work with the software and the collection in the fall semester of 2012. Brown, Greenup and Hicks continued the work and created the web site this past spring semester. All have now graduated with associate degrees in anthropology.