Division of Anthropology Archives houses approximately 670 linear feet of archival material, dating from the 1890's to the present. The collection includes accession documentation, original catalogs, field notes, photographs, artwork pertaining to AMNH publications in anthropology, and Divisional correspondence from 1894 to the present.
American Anthropologist Frederick Starr joined the missionary/explorer Samuel Verner on a collecting expedition to the Congo from 1905-1906. He collected nearly 5,000 artifacts including musical instruments, shields, baskets, masks, stools and games that have become part of the Museum's collection of material culture from the Congo region.
In 1904, objects collected by Berthold Laufer during an expedition to China (1901-1904) were installed in the Southwest Gallery (Chinese Hall) on the third floor of the museum. The exhibition illustrated the industrial and domestic life of the Chinese, their amusements, their religion, and their arts. Laufer's guide was never published. It is heavily edited by Laufer and still in galley form.
During his Pacific expeditions, Otto Finsch compiled an extensive archive including an object catalog, a manuscript, photographs, drawings, and watercolor paintings. The accession file (1898-49), documenting the purchase of the collection and the archive, includes letters between Otto Finsch, AMNH curator Franz Boas, and AMNH president Morris K. Jesup. The archive is very legibly written in German.