Ohio Hopewell: Ancient Crossroads of the American Midwest

Archival Documents

Our efforts to digitize The Field Museum’s Hopewell archival collection became a primary objective in the Spring of 2015. Thanks to the generous support of the Museum Archives and Library, historic documents related to the Hopewell collections have now been digitized and are openly accessible via the link below.

This collection, “World's Columbian Exposition Expedition to Southern Ohio”includes Moorehead’s original field notes as well as hand drawn site maps. (For more information, see the Finding Aids for this collection.) Warren K. Moorehead completed extensive archaeological excavations at the Hopewell Mound Group during the field seasons of 1891–1892. Hired by Professor Frederic Ward Putnam, Director of the World’s Columbian Exposition (1891), Moorehead led a team of workers in the excavations at “Mound Builder” sites in Southern Ohio. Putnam’s goal was to collect exotic materials for the World’s Columbian Exposition. Moorehead excavated at three sites in 1891 and 1892: Fort Ancient, Oregonia, Anderson, and the Hopewell Mound Group. The Field Museum received Moorehead’s Ohio collection after the Exposition (Anthropology Accessions 31, 410, and 429). This archival collection was digitized by Backstage Library Works, a contracted vendor with over 25 years of experience handling archival materials. Backstage Library Works captured images of the archival documents using an overhead array camera. Approximately 941 pages have been digitized. This process is not only important for our Hopewell project, but will also serve as a platform for larger digitization projects within the museum.

Field Museum Library Digital Collections