The renewed interest in the Ethnology Teaching Collection
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The focus of a collection can change over the course of time. The University Museum at Illinois State University closed its doors in 1991. While artifacts of an ethnographic nature were sent to the Anthropology department one year later, many other artifacts were relocated elsewhere. The remaining artifacts would become part of a hands-on teaching collection, which is now known as the Ethnology Teaching Collection. The Ethnology Teaching Collection holds a rich cultural value that supports research and teaching at the university, despite the fact that the art pieces may lose their value over time by physical degradation due to handling by students, for example. Through the collaborative partnership between the Sociology and Anthropology department and the library, the digitization of curated objects from the Ethnology Teaching Collection has helped promote the significant historical and educational value of the teaching collection, as well as its public online access. This presentation aims to promote the curated art objects of the Ethnology Teaching Collection and the enduring value that it still exhibits as a teaching tool in contrast to similar objects held in museums.