The Haffenreffer Museum had a wide ranging collection of archaeological material. The bulk of the collection was New England lithic material (click here for example), collected or acquired by museum founder Rudolf Haffenreffer in the early 20th century. Additionally, the museum held material excavated by Circumpolar Laboratory researchers, and was a designated National Repository for Federally-owned collections from the Arctic. The Museum also held a small number of Maritime Archaic (red paint) artifacts from Maine, and gem points from the Columbia River basin.
Below is a summary of New England archaeological material that we saw in the Haffenreffer Musuem collections.
Anthony Collection. Native American artifacts, mostly from the Bristol area. Collected by Edward Anthony and acquired by the Museum before 1928. Includes unusual items such as boat stones, pipes and a steatite goblet. Collector's records unknown. (Catalog series of Rhode Island artifacts, 7110-7131 and 7229-7262).
Bannister Cache. Cache of 46 flaked stone hoe-like implements found near Silver Lake in Wakefield. Found in 1927 and acquired 1928. (Catalog No. 1/43).
Bigelow Collection. Thousands of Native American artifacts located to town or better. Collected and acquired prior to 1928. Collector's records unknown. (Catalog number series overlaps with Richardson Collection.)
Brooks Collection. Seventeen artifacts of steatite including pipes, bowls, and one "ceremonial" from the Oaklawn Steatite Quarry. Collected 1946-47 by Perry Brooks, acquired 1952 (uncataloged). Artifact drawings and letter by collector. Reports on this site, Dunn: 1945 and Fowler: 1967.
Samuel King Collection. Artifacts attributed to town or better, mostly from vicinity of Warwick. Includes unusual forms such as a carved human effigy. Collected prior to 1928 and purchased in that year. Selected items published in Chapin: 1926.
Mount Hope Narrows site. Site excavated by R. Haffenreffer and F. Saville in 1928. Shell, bone and stone artifacts (Catalog Nos. 9002-9099).
Richardson Collection. Four thousand artifacts from Rhode Island, mostly located to town or better (see Riverside Cache). Collected by Clarence Richardson before 1927 and acquired in that year. Collector's records unknown (Catalog series of Rhode Island artifacts 1 to 3652 and 4602 4651. Series overlaps Bigelow Collection).
Riverside Cache. Cache of 48 uniform felsite bifaces of the Mansion Inn variety. Part of the Richardson collection. Found in Riverside. See Figure 2. Also photograph Providence Sunday Journal, Jan. 20, 1929.
Tinkham Collection. Over 900 artifacts provenienced to town and better, mostly from Warwick. Collected by Selwyn Tinkham the 1930's. Acquired 1976. Illustrated collector's catalog . Catalog Nos. 76-53 to 76-974).
Wheeler Collection. Large collection of historic and Contact Period artifacts provenienced to town or better. Collected or acquired by Harrie Wheeler. Two collections: first collected prior to 1928 and acquired that year, second collected between 1928 and 1950 and acquired in 1985. Two original catalogs. Selected items published in Chapin: 1924. (Catalog Nos. of Rhode Island artifacts 1/781 to 1/925, 85-176 to 140 and 85-800 to 839).