Shirley Harpham

Shirley Harpham, Technologist, Bryan/Gruhn Archaeology Collection

"Our department has a rich history of engaging the general public…. Shirley has jumped at any opportunity to share her excitement about the zooarchaeology and archaeology collections with children and parents through public programs."

Shirley Harpham served as the technologist for the Zooarchaelogy Reference Collection between 1985 and 2009 and has been working as the technologist for the Bryan/Gruhn Archaeology Collection since 1994. For nearly three decades, Shirley has demonstrated her passion and dedication to expanding and developing these invaluable teaching and reference resources.

She has designed numerous outreach programs for the collections, most notably for Science Sunday where she originated and developed the famous model archaeological dig. Shirley has fostered a volunteer program, managing hundreds of volunteers, allowing students and community members to gain hands-on experience with collections and researchers.

She facilitates the use of collections in teaching programs, oversees acquisition and organization of materials, establishes curricula, orients teaching assistants, and arranges labs. Shirley has promoted the collections in publications, websites, exhibitions, and talks. She has also shepherded the collections through not only two relocations but also five different databases, providing online access to students and researchers around the world. She has facilitated public programming, school liaisons, and various exhibitions, ensuring the continuation of community engagement.

Shirley Harpham

Adapted from nomination and support letters by Pamela Willoughby, Chair, Department of Anthropology, and Curator, Bryan/Gruhn Archaeology Collection, and Pamela Mayne Correia, Curator, Osteology, Fossil Hominid Cast, and Ethnographic Collections.