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Artifact Collection

Call Number: AC

Scope and Contents

The artifact collection is an artificial collection created in 2001, which consists of materials relating to Tufts University and people associated with Tufts University; artifacts from ancient cultures and modern; and manuscripts, prints, and other texts, all dating circa 2150 BCE – 2007 CE. Material relating to Tufts University includes plaques, trophies, and medals; jewelry; textiles; papers and printed materials; and other objects belonging or relating to Tuft University and people associated with Tufts University. Artifacts from ancient cultures include examples of papyrus, cuneiform, scarabs, memorial slabs, a tomb figure, and coins representing varied cultures such as Egypt, Sumer, the Akkadian Empire, and Greece. There are also examples of coins from modern cultures. Artifacts in this collection include sculptures, a bamboo flute, and a cannon ball. Texts and printed materials include autographs and correspondence; illuminated and early manuscripts; leaves from early printed books, some with woodblock illustrations; governmental documents; maps; painting and prints; Illuminated and early manuscript leaves and leaves from early printed books are mainly from educational or religious texts and are in various languages, including English, Hebrew, Latin, German, Italian, French and Flemish. Furniture objects include a desk owned by Hosea Ballou and a Hitchcock bench once used in Curtis Hall.


  • Creation: circa 2150 BCE -- 2007 CE

Language of Materials

The majority of textual item in this collection are in English. There are also some items in Akkadian, Egyptian, Flemish, French, German, Hebrew, Latin, Italian, and Sumerian.


This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. No documentation is available regarding the intellectual property rights in this collection.

Biographical / Historical

Tufts Archival Research Center is the Tufts University steward for all archival records and materials of significant and historical relevance to the college.

The collection began as the University Archives, which were incorporated in 1965 by the Tufts University Board of Trustees (Annual Reports 1965-1988). Previously, the position of archivist was loosely created in 1959 as a means of processing and acquiring important university and student records for preservation. This role was filled by Tufts history professor and historian Russell L. Miller, who also wrote the Tufts University history "Light on the Hill." The archives were considered a department of the University Library (known as Eaton and then Wessell at that time), overseen by the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

The university's archives were first kept in Eaton Library, but moved to the Wessell Library building in 1965. Originals of some records were sent to vaults in Ballou Hall for storage. In 1991, due to budget issues, the university archivist was laid off. When the office was reopened in 1997, it was as the University Archives and Special Collections, also located as a department within the Tisch Library.

In July 2001, Digital Collections and Archives (DCA) was created when the University Archives was tasked with developing a Tufts Digital Library. The department moved from the College of Arts, Science and Engineering to the Central Administration, directed by the University Provost. The Special Collections department remained under Tisch Library.

In January 2023, DCA was renamed Tufts Archival Research Center (TARC) to better reflect the mission and services offered by the department.

TARC is currently physically housed in the Tisch Library building.


28.62 Linear Feet

217 Artifact(s)

2 Digital Object(s)


The Artifact Collection is an artificial collection created in 2001, which consists of materials relating to Tufts University and people associated with Tufts University; artifacts from ancient cultures and modern; and manuscripts, prints, and other texts, all dating circa 2150 BCE – 2007 CE. Materials included in this collection are coins; cuneiform tablets and cones; illuminated manuscripts; leaves from early printed books; maps; paintings; prints; sculptures; textiles; furniture; and other artifacts.


This collection is arranged into six series: Tufts materials; Coins; Cuneiform, scarabs, memorial slab, and tomb figure; Manuscript, printed, and book history materials; Portraits, paintings, and sculptures; and other artifacts.

Processing status

This collection was processed by Archives and Research Assistant Rose Koven under the supervision of Collections Management Archivist Adrienne Pruitt in 2019. Materials were intellectually organized into 6 series of related materials, and two of those series were broken down into subseries. Titles on some objects were modified to reflect current archival standards and to better describe the objects, and dates were added or correctly when applicable.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States