The Anthropology Section of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History houses and manages more than 1.5 million archaeological and ethnographic objects, and nearly 50,000 photographic images relevant to the Anthropology Section collections. The geographic foci of the collections are the North American Southwest and Rocky Mountain-Plains. The Anthropology Section also maintains and preserves comparative archaeological and ethnological collections from other parts of the world.
The anthropology collections are primarily archaeological materials resulting from the systematic work of Earl H. Morris and Joe Ben Wheat. Our ethnographic collections include the Harold Case collection of Plains material culture and clothing and the Joe Ben Wheat collection of Navajo textiles. Morris built the museum's anthropological collections from 1913–1956. Wheat served as Curator of Anthropology and Curator Emeritus from 1952–1997, and directed the Yellow Jacket field school from 1954–1991. Anna O. Shepard's research collection in ceramic technology is also part of the anthropology collection.