Explore the depth and breath of campus collections.
In 1891 Frank Logan purchased the Horatio Nelson Rust Collection and commissioned Rust to exhibit the collection and purchase additional items at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Logan became a Trustee of Beloit College in 1893 and the Rust Collection was subsequently donated and the Logan Museum of Anthropology founded. Today, the Logan Museum houses a world-renowned collection of over 350,000 archaeological and ethnographic objects.
Notable ethnographic collections include Native North and South American, Asian, Pacific, and African material. Particular strengths in archaeology include European Paleolithic, North African, Wisconsin, Great Plains, Southwestern U.S., Mesoamerican, and Peruvian material. Collections derive from Beloit College anthropology field schools as well as gifts from notable researchers, collectors, and alumni.
In 1892, Helen Brace Emerson donated her personal collection of art to Beloit College and created its first program in art appreciation. She was also instrumental in bringing to Beloit a collection of plaster casts of ancient Greek sculpture that had been exhibited at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. These were presented to the College in 1894 and strengthened an art program built on tangible works for study and appreciation. In 1930, the college partnered with the city of Beloit to fund the construction of the Wright Museum of Art.
Today, the Wright Museum houses approximately 6,000 objects, mostly European and American prints and paintings, College portraits, 19th-century historic architecture photos, Soviet political propaganda posters, and Asian decorative arts, icons, and woodblock prints.
Note: the Wright Museum of Art Collections are only available online to users who are located on campus.
In 1848 the natural history collections were born when Rev. Stephen Peet, one of the founders of Beloit College, donated minerals that formed the nucleus of the College’s Cabinet Collection. The Cabinet Collection grew to include taxidermy preparation, but the remainder of the natural history collections are stored in the Sanger Science Center.
The Neese Theater Historic costume Collection contains about 400 clothing items donated over the years by alumni. Mostly women’s garments, the collection includes items from the late 1840s through the 1950s. The collection represents a significant historic resource for the study of costume history and design.
Center instructors and participants have full access to the library and archive while on campus, however, resources may not be checked out from the library. Computers located on the main floor near the library entrance marked Guest Access are accessible to instructors and participants during library hours.
In the College Archive, you’ll discover a rich source of original materials for research from the Civil War, personal diaries, letters of faculty, presidents and alumni, and the history of Beloit College. The majority of the materials in the College Archives are searchable through Archives Space. The collection includes photos of campus life, student publications, alumni diaries, oral histories, and even items with unique stories such as a copy of The Nuremberg Chronicles, various freshman beanies, and a 1960s bowling pin. -learn more-
Beloit is located on the traditional territory of Indigenous peoples, and we respectfully acknowledge the Ho-Chunk, Potawatomi, and Sac and Fox people who have stewarded this land. We recognize the legacies of violence, displacement, and settlement that they have faced. We are always on Indigenous land, and on-campus we have a constant reminder in the form of the mounds.
The Beloit College campus features 20 conical, linear, and animal effigy mounds built between about AD 400 and 1200. Once, in the form of a turtle, has inspired the symbol (and unofficial mascot) of the College. Similar mounds are found throughout southern Wisconsin and adjacent portions of surrounding states. They were built by Native Americans identified by archaeologists as Late Woodland people. These people may include ancestors of the Ho-Chunk (Winnebago) people and other tribes.
The Beloit College group once totaled 25 mounds; five were leveled unfortunately by building and groups projects many decades ago. See the 2003 Beloit College Magazine article by retired Logan Museum of Anthropology director Bill Green for details on the history, study, and preservation of the College mounds.
Many of the Beloit College mounds have been partly excavated and restored. The material found in them and other Late Woodland sites in the region, such as fragments of pottery and stone tools, are in the collection of the Logan Museum of Anthropology. Students and faculty concerned about mound preservation established the Campus Mounds and Sustainability and Advocacy Initiative in 2018.
Beloit is also home to the Beloit Historical Society (BHS), which is located less than two miles from campus. The BHS was founded in 1910 and is the oldest historical society in Rock County, Wisconsin. The BHS manages two sites-The Lincoln Center and the Hanchett-Bartlett Homestead, a circa 1857 Victorian farmstead. In 1990, BHS moves into the recently renovated Lincoln Center, formerly Lincoln Junior High School (1921-1985).
The Lincoln Center is currently the administrative center of the society and houses collections, exhibition and public event spaces, the Luebke Family Library, and the Elliot-Perring Sports Hall of Fame. Behind-the-scenes access to BHS collections can be arranged for hands-on practice and teaching. Please contact Nicolette Meister for more information.