1906-1907 Expedition to Egypt
The Museum Archives at the Oriental Institute
A Paper "Fold-a-Bull" inspired by the Lamassu at the OI
Rainey Object Update

My origami Lamassu has found a perfect home on my dresser, as it guards my room when I am away!! -Raven Rainey

Shida Object Update

Since I do not use makeup (and do not want to make it dirty) this vessel is now an altar to luck. I also made a haiku about it. -João Shida

I love having my object right next to my desk so I can see it everyday while I’m studying. Because I love archaeology, I think the Cultural Heritage Experiment is really fantastic. -Maddie Ouimet

This ancient pillar greets guests and wows my roommates with its majesty. -Alexandra Warminski


Connect, Conserve, Create

Threats facing cultural heritage sites have flooded news feeds in recent decades. Efforts to reconstruct these sites and collections rely heavily on the archival record, but unfortunately archives are also being destroyed, neglected, and forgotten. Do not forget, engage! Through the Cultural Heritage Experiment students explore the philosophical, creative, and practical questions which converge in archives and museums. On October 3, 2018, the CHE loaned out archival objects to University of Chicago undergraduates for the 2018–19 academic year. Fall quarter ended with participants submitting object updates and Winter quarter will involve a Makers Faire in which participants can discuss and begin to create new contexts for their objects. By interacting with the OI’s archives, these students are helping to preserve the past.


  • Object Return Day is coming on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 from 8 am to 11 am.
  • This event will take place at the Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St. in Room 212 on the second floor.
  • Refreshments will be provided.


The archives of the Oriental Institute encompass materials spanning nearly 120 years, documenting the beginning of ancient Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago around 1900 and the history of the Oriental Institute. Contained within the walls of the archive are administrative documents, correspondence, dictionary projects, excavation records, film, faculty papers, and photography

The archival record is constantly in flux due to the fact that it continues to expand while being subject to processes of cataloging, curation, and digitization. In light of this reality, the vastness of the OI Museum Archives is not yet fully understood and new treasures are always coming to light. The scale and scope of the archives makes using and organizing them a mode of excavation. This process is essential not only for preserving the past for future generations, but for ensuring their discoverability in the present. The Cultural Heritage Experiment is one way in which you can participate in making our history visible now.


The categories of objects available for loan include: photographs, plans, posters, drawings, maps, silk screens, folios, casts, replicas, and prints. On October 3, 2019 almost 100 objects were loaned out to undergraduates at the University of Chicago.


  • A copy of the loan document that you will sign is available here.
  • A list of potential items for distribution can be found here.
  • FAQ's

For more information contact: Anne Flannery at oi-che@uchicago.edu



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Return your Objects between 8 am and 11 am on 

 Wednesday, May 22, 2019!