Ford Collection, UM Museum of Anthropological Archaeology

The Ford Collection of human crania has been used to teach anatomy, anthropology, pathology, and other disciplines for over 130 years, and yet we know very little about who these individuals were and what, if any, consent they gave for the use of their remains for teaching. Modern ethical and scientific standards for working with human remains require informed consent from either the individual or family. The University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology seeks to curate human remains in a respectful and ethical manner that reflects these standards. To do so, the first step was to remove the images of the individuals in the Ford Collection from the web.

We recognize that this set of images and their associated data continue to be used by educators around the world to teach medical pathologies to their students. While we are mindful of the potential impact to students, we cannot use this as justification to continue to ignore these ethical concerns. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the UMMAA collections managers at