The Mission of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology is to educate Brown University students and the general public, through anthropological research on humankind, about cultural differences and human similarities, and to serve its constituencies with excellence
- By exhibiting collections at the museum and interpreting cultures for the museum's publics;
- By teaching undergraduate and graduate students through museum- and collections-based courses and research projects, and in degree-granting programs; and by educating students and the entire public through programs, lectures, exhibits, publications, and other means;
- By conducting and publishing research on collections which are the raw data for creative thought in anthropology and other fields; and by making collections available for research and loans;
- By acquiring archaeological and ethnological collections through fieldwork, gift or purchase, which will enhance the museum's value for research and teaching; by setting priorities for acquisitions; by upholding appropriate conventions, resolutions, and laws on cultural property; by ensuring that new collections can be responsibly conserved and stored; by establishing policy for deaccessions; and by reserving proceeds from any deaccessions for strengthening collections;
- By preserving artifactual and archival collections, the irreplaceable human cultural heritage, in a manner consistent with respect for traditions of their makers; and by conserving all collections in secure, ample storage facilities and according to established professional practices in conservation, fulfilling thereby the commitment of the university/museum to the public trust, to museological practice and ethics, and to the museum's donors.