The archaeology collections include extensive Pennsylvania survey materials made by former Director W. Fred Kinsey. These include very early examples of European trade goods obtained by native residents of the region and discrete sites of Native American occupation in eastern Pennsylvania from distinct time periods. Combined with donated material from many geographic regions, archaeological objects number over 100,000 items.
The Museum has limited collections of tools, containers, textiles, and decorative artwork made by cultures from both the New and Old Worlds. Those that are most fragile are kept in environmentally-controlled areas of the museum's collections storage space. Some more recent local artwork (pertaining to natural history and exhibitions) is also retained as part of the museum's record of its own history.