U of Pennsylvania Museum to Remove Cranial Collection After Student Opposition

The University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Museum will remove from public view a cranial collection that critics, including student groups, say includes skulls of enslaved people, reported The Daily Pennsylvanian.Upenn

The Morton Cranial Collection, which includes some 1,000 crania, was the work of Samuel George Morton, whose “research was taken as proof that Europeans, especially those of German and English ancestry, were intellectually, morally, and physically superior to all other races,” says a page on the Penn Museum website. Discover Magazine said Morton used the findings from his collection as a ‘scientific’ justification for slavery and is known as the “founding father of scientific racism.”

The part of the collection which is on public view — at the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials classroom in Penn Museum — will be removed by the end of the summer but will still be accessible for research.