Ford Collection, UM Museum of Anthropological Archaeology

Collection Information

About the Ford Collection & This Database:

The Ford Collection contains human skulls collected by Dr. Corydon La Ford, M.D., during his time as professor of Anatomy at the University of Michigan Medical School between 1854 and 1890. The collection was transferred to the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology in 1996 and the Museum has loaned much of it (excluding the Native American crania that fall under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) regulations) to the UM Dept. of Anthropology for use in teaching. No Native American skulls are illustrated in this project.

Dr. Ford initially collected the skulls for teaching purposes. With this same goal in mind, photographs and information about the Ford Collection have been digitized into this database. The database is intended for educational and research purposes, and is especially useful for the fields of bioarchaeology and clinical pathology. The images and materials herein may not be used for commercial or non-educational purposes, nor may they be copied and/or redistributed without permission from the UM Museum of Anthropology.

Any questions or comments about the collection, including research access, publications, and collection history, can be directed to the UM Museum of Anthropological Archaeology Collection Managers at Any questions about this online database should be directed to This database was made possible by support from UM’s Instructional Support Services and in collaboration with UM’s Digital Library Production Service. UM Biological Anthropology graduate students compiled all of the information and took the photographs available through this database. This database also inspired the graduate students to create the Human Osteology Pathology and Trauma Wiki.