Mathers Museum of World Cultures

416 North Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47408


Mathers Museum Mission :

The William Hammond Mathers Museum is Indiana University's museum of world cultures. Through its collections, exhibits, and programs, the Museum is dedicated to preserving and promoting knowledge of the world's cultures. In all of its activities, the Museum strives to further its audiences' understanding of both the diversity of the world's specific cultures and the underlying unity of cultures as a human phenomenon.
The William Hammond Mathers Museum fosters Indiana University's role as a public and research institution by holding specialized collections of material culture in trust. Proper use of the collections is the core of the Museum's mission, which may be described in terms of preservation, research, and communication.

To preserve knowledge of the world's cultural heritage, the Museum acquires and conserves collections of material culture. The Museum acquires only collections that serve its stated purpose. The Museum strives to meet the highest standards of conservation in maintaining its collections, so that they may be preserved for future generations. The Museum applies the same standards of stewardship to the documentation of the objects in its collections and seeks constantly to expand and improve that documentation.

The Museum's collections are available to scholars, students, and interested members of the public for research. The Museum also emphasizes two other aspects of its research mission. First, the Museum trains students to conduct research on material culture, so that knowledge and understanding of the world's cultural heritage may be enhanced in future generations. Second, the Museum is committed to improving informal education by making its exhibits and programs available to faculty and students doing research on methods and results of informal education.

The Museum's communication mission is three-fold. First, through exhibits and educational programming, the Museum provides audiences of diverse ages and backgrounds with opportunities for informal, non-classroom education about the world's cultural heri age. Second, the Museum enhances classroom teaching, both at Indiana University and in other Indiana schools at all levels. To achieve this end, when the prerequisite of conservation has been met, the Museum makes its collections available for coursework, along with the expertise of its staff. Third, the Museum helps train students for careers in museums by providing classes in museum studies and other opportunities for experience in museum work.

In all activities, the Museum serves its diverse audiences by providing educational experiences that meet the highest standards of scholarship and, within the Museum's mean's, the highest attainable standards of presentation. In turn, the Museum serves Indiana University by making the university's research and teaching about the world's cultures accessible to the broadest possible audience.

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