Archives 261

Museum of Anthropology
Lucullus McWhorter Collection
Administrative Records, circa 1959-1999

The administrative records of the Lucullus McWhorter artifact collection were transferred to the University Archives from the Museum of Anthropology in 2005. The collection was processed in 2006 by Cheryl Gunselman.

Number of Containers: 1

Linear feet of shelf space: .5

Museum of Anthropology History

The Museum of Anthropology, Washington State University, is a federal archaeological repository and contains both ethnographic and archaeological research collections.

The museum had its beginnings in 1894 when Charles R. Conner, president of the Board of Regents of what was then Washington State College, acquired 2 "carloads" of museum specimens while attending the Chicago World's Fair. These items were combined with other materials on campus to form the core of the Washington State College Museum of Natural History.

During 1949-1950, the Natural History Museum was divided by discipline, and anthropological specimens were transferred to the Department of Anthropology. Some of the ethnographic materials were in display cases in Todd Hall on campus from 1951 to 1963, but most were placed in storage in the Todd basement. In 1963, the displayed materials were also put in storage.

All these materials remained in storage until September 1968, when they were transferred to the new Museum of Anthropology in the neighboring building, Johnson Tower. Most historic artifacts held by the anthropology department were transferred to "well-established historical collections in the Northwest Region" in accordance with a directive from the university president.

The museum in Johnson Tower was extensively remodeled in 1975. In 1984 the museum (along with all the branches of the anthropology department) moved to its current space in College Hall. Currently, the public area of the museum is 2,500 square feet, with a preparation room and an environmentally controlled storage vault equipped with a "movable aisle" storage system.

(Source: Washington State University Museum of Anthropology website, "History of the Museum,"


This collection is open and available for research use.

Arrangement and Description

This collection consists of photographic slides, collection inventory information, reports, and supporting documentation for the Lucullus McWhorter artifact collection held by the Museum of Anthropology, Washington State University. These materials have been arranged in a single series.

Related Materials

Selected images from this collection have been digitized and can be found online in the: L.V. McWhorter Native American Artifacts Digital Collection.

The artifacts described and depicted in these records are held by the Museum of Anthropology, College Hall, Washington State University, Pullman, WA.

Two related archival collections are held in MASC:

Lucullus Virgil McWhorter Papers, 1848-1945
Collection number: Cage 55
Online collection guide available:

L. V. McWhorter Photograph Collection
Collection number: PC 85
Online collection guide available:

Container List

Box Folder Description
1 1 "The McWhorter Collection: A History and Current Location Assessment," Mary Collins, Museum of Anthropology, 1997
  2 Collection appraisal report, Pawel Racza Gallery, 1999
  3 Catalog cards (photocopies), Museum of Anthropology, circa 1959
  4 Unidentified cards and descriptive information, including drawings (photocopies), National Park Service, undated
  5-6 Artifact labels, undated
  7 Catalog cards, National Park Service, 1967-1968
  8 News clippings (about McWhorter collection), 1991-1996
  9 Slides; 1984, 1986