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Logan Museum of Anthropology records

Identifier: AC 72

Scope and Contents

This collection is divided into five series: 1. Collections. 2. Correspondence. 3. Photographs. 4. Publications. 5. Subject Files.

Series 1. Collections. Contains information about collections and exhibits.
Series 2. Correspondence. Contains correspondence to and from directors and curators of the museum (including George L. Collie, Paul H. Nesbitt, Alonzo W. Pond, Henry Moy, and Tom Wilson), correspondence with Frank G. Logan and correspondence with presidents of the college.
Series 3. Photographs
Series 4. Publications. Publications created by or about the museum and/or Beloit College, including newsletters, scholarly publications, and news articles.
Series 5. Subject Files. All other records from or about the museum.


  • 1881-ongoing

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research; however, certain materials are fragile and require Archives staff for handling, or use may be restricted altogether.

Biographical / Historical

The museums of Beloit College were born in 1848, when Rev. Stephen Peet, one of the founders of the College, donated his mineral collection, which became the nucleus of the College's "Cabinet." It was common practice in 1840s for Eastern Colleges to develop geology and natural history cabinets of specimens to augment textbooks. Beloit College was no exception to this trend. The Cabinet collection was housed in Middle College from 1849 to 1869.

The collection moved to Memorial Hall, when that building was completed in 1869. Memorial Hall was built to commemorate the men of Beloit who perished in the Civil War. By the 1890s the Cabinet collection had grown to contain more than 4,000 specimens, including 900 mounted animal specimens. In 1893 the Cabinet collection was moved to Pearsons Hall of Science. It remained there until 1903, when it was dispersed to appropriate departments on campus.

In 1892 Frank Logan, a wealthy Chicago grain merchant, purchased a collection of around 3,000 Native American archaeological and ethnographic objects for $15,000. Logan bought the collection from Horatio Nelson Rust, a traveling salesman, Indian agent, and collector of Native American antiquities. Logan arranged for Rust to exhibit the collection for him at Chicago's 1893 World Columbian Exposition, where it was exhibited in the Anthropology Building. The Collection was awarded first prize among the archaeological exhibits.

Frank Logan and his wife, Josephine Hancock Logan, became interested in Beloit College through their friend and minister, Dr. Frank Gunsaulus, a Congregational minister in Chicago and a frequent visitor to Beloit College where he lectured in history in 1887-88. In 1893 Frank Logan was appointed to the Beloit College Board of Trustees, and he donated the Rust Collection the same year. The College formally accepted the Rust-Logan Collection at the semi-annual meeting of the Board of Trustees on January 15, 1894.

From 1893 to1905 the Rust collection was exhibited on the second floor of Pearsons Hall of Science. In 1905 Memorial Hall was redecorated and greatly improved to house the expanding Logan Museum. Prior to 1905 Memorial Hall was home to the College's library. The Logan Museum expanded to the second floor of Memorial Hall in 1911 when the Music Department moved out.

Promoting engaged learning about cultures has formed the primary focus and intent of the Museum since its inception in 1893. Frank Logan insisted on the educational use of the collections, and desired to see the artifacts utilized in teaching students about "primitive life." By 1923 laboratory and classroom spaces were added to the Museum to provide teaching facilities. In 1924 Logan established the George Collie Foundation in Anthropology as a tribute to the founding of the College's Department of Anthropology and George Collie being named as its Chair. The Logan Museum has been intimately connected to the Anthropology Department and faculty positions often involved curatorial and directorial appointments.

With the establishment of the Museum Studies minor in 1982-83, the Museum's role as a teaching museum was expanded even further. Beloit College students are still actively involved in field expeditions, research on the collections, and the development and installation of museum exhibitions, both at the Logan Museum and the Wright Museum of Art.


18 Linear Feet (24 boxes (further additions are expected))

Language of Materials



Beloit College's Logan Museum of Anthropology was founded in 1893 after Frank G. Logan purchased a collection of around 3,000 Native American archaeological and ethnographic objects that was exhibited at the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition by Horatio Nelson Rust. Originally the collection was housed in Pearsons Hall of Science, but moved to Memorial Hall in 1905 and has been there since. The museum underwent a major renovation from 1992-1995. This collection contains a considerable amount of correspondence to and from directors and curators of the museum (including George L. Collie, Paul H. Nesbitt, Alonzo W. Pond, Henry Moy, and Tom Wilson), correspondence with Frank G. Logan and correspondence with presidents of the college. There are many records relating to the museum's renovation from 1992-1995, promotional and documentary materials about the museum and its collections, museum publications, collection records and other administrative information, including documents about funding and grants, and information about the college's department of anthropology and museum studies program.

Processing Information

This collection has been compiled over the years through separate accessions of various sizes from various offices and individuals, none of which has any accompanying documentation. Numbers listed here were added previously by an unknown person from either Archives or the Logan. The arrangement order presented here has been imposed by the College Archives staff.

Boxes 10 and 11 have been accumulated by the Beloit College Archives. The other boxes were donated to the Archives by the Logan Museum in 2005.

Photographs in Box 8 appear to be from an exhibit, as all the photos are mounted on foam core.

Professional conference materials and grant guidelines originally in Box 20 were weeded due to lack of direct affiliation with Beloit College and their non-unique nature.

Box 22 is mostly unprocessed. Some materials moved to other folders within collection. Mailing lists, non-Beloit College related publications and catalogs, and duplicates weeded.

Box 24 had one 3.5" floppy disk with non-Logan material and another 3.5" floppy with Wright Museum of Art info, which was moved to that collection (AC 114).

Logan Museum of Anthropology records
Michelle Tom
April, 2013
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Repository Details

Part of the Beloit College Archives and Special Collections, Beloit, WI Repository

700 College St.
Beloit WI 53511 USA