University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology

Artstor and the University of British Columbia are collaborating to make available more than 65,000 images of art and other cultural objects from the UBC Museum of Anthropology's permanent collection.

The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is a place of world arts and cultures, with a special emphasis on the First Nations peoples and other cultural communities of British Columbia. The Museum is built on traditional, ancestral, unceded land of the Musqueam people, and strives to maintain its close relationships with cultural communities in British Columbia and from around the world.

Part of the MOA’s originality comes from it being both a public and a research and teaching museum. The Museum’s focus on scholarship makes possible a range of exhibitions and events that cut across traditional disciplinary divisions to provoke creative engagement and dialogue.

MOA’s Multiversity Galleries combine high-density storage with displays intended to enhance the viewer’s appreciation not only of the formal and aesthetic qualities of the works, but also their histories and changing contexts. MOA collaborated with First Nations and other communities from British Columbia to the Pacific Islands and beyond to display the Museum’s collections. Instead of exhibiting works according to their provenance, usage or type, MOA arranges works according to Indigenous criteria where engagement is possible. Some objects are grouped according to the ceremonies in which they were or are used; some are gathered into groups based around their ownership history; some are displayed simply as great art. These galleries embody the idea that there is never just one way of knowing and seeing the world. All cultures and civilizations have developed their own unique criteria, and MOA aims to provide access to many alternative “ways of knowing.”

MOA has a comprehensive research infrastructure featuring the Reciprocal Research Network, a collaborative knowledge-sharing site that holds nearly half a million cultural items from 25 institutions, and that continues to be co-developed with local First Nations.  The Museum’s state-of-the-art conservation and research laboratories, its audio-visual facilities, oral history and language lab, library and archive, and modern storage facilities all provide tools through which works can be preserved, researched and interpreted.