OIM A3670. Clay tablet, cuneiform, Mesopotamia

Tablet Collection and Tablet Room

The collection comprises thousands of original clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform, plus a large number of casts of such tablets excavated by Oriental Institute expeditions but now housed elsewhere.


OIM A28582, gold roundel, Iran

Highlights from the Collections

An integral part of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, which has supported research and archaeological excavation in the Near East since 1919, the Museum exhibits major collections of antiquities from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Anatolia.


Registrar Susan Allison inputs data about an object into the Oriental Institute's Integrated Database

Search the Oriental Institute's Integrated Database

This is an on-going project that aims to provide public access to information about the diverse research and object-based collections managed and cared for by the Oriental Institute.


OIM P2380 Abu Simbel, Egypt. The facade of the great temple as it was being photographed

Photographic Archives

The complete archive contains over 100,000 negatives documenting the Institute’s activities from 1892 to the present. These images record now-vanished temples and tombs, famed archaeologists standing proudly near their greatest finds and scenes of life now effaced by modern times.


Conservator Alison Whyte prepares OIM E972, wood bird statue for an exhibition

Conservation Laboratory

The Conservation Laboratory at the Oriental Institute is devoted to the conservation of three-dimensional archaeological objects.


The Oriental Institute's comprehensive collections, including artifacts, photographs, excavation records, administrative documents, and publications, serve the public in exhibits and online, as well as being an extremely rich resource for scholars. Management of the materials that comprise the Oriental Institute's collections is organized into five units: Museum Registration, Tablet Collection, Archives, Conservation, and the Research Library. Additionally, individual faculty and research projects also maintain materials such as study collections; project materials in process, such as current excavation drawings, records, and notes; and other unpublished materials which have not yet been turned over to the Institute.