About our collections
The Museum of the Aleutian’s regional collections cover a wide range of subjects from archaeology, ethnography, history, art, and archives, to the natural sciences. They are securely housed in a state-of-the art climate-controlled repository, which is the most westerly facility of its kind in the US! Our collections continue to grow each year through many generous, private donations of cultural and historical objects and through archaeological research. Archaeological excavations conducted by Museum staff and partners contribute to an improved scientific understanding of the prehistory of the eastern Aleutians. A varied network of institutional research partnerships utilizes our archaeological collections to produce data regarding long-term human and ecosystem changes in the Bering Sea.
What you can find
Since 1999, the Museum has assembled an impressive collection currently estimated at around 500,000 items. Most of this is archaeological material that documents 9,000 years of eastern Aleutian prehistory and includes bone and lithic artifacts and a vast amount of ecofacts, or associated biological material, like mammal, fish, bird, and shell remains thousands of years old. Additional collections include photographic and paper archives and other objects important Unangan ethnographic items. Highlights of our collections include a very fine group of about 100 Unangan baskets and an original sketch by John Webber, an artist with Captain Cook’s third voyage, which stopped at Unalaska in 1778. In addition to our permanent collections, a program of changing exhibitions, with additional items from the collections, are frequently displayed in our temporary gallery.
The Museum is currently working to provide parts of our extensive collections online. Check back for updates on this project and to view our digital collections.
If you would like to schedule a collections visit or have a research request please email us below.