Arizona State Museum

Welcome to the Arizona State Museum Mukurtu site. Mukurtu (MOOK-oo-too) is a grassroots project aiming to empower communities to manage, share, and exchange their digital heritage in culturally relevant and ethically-minded ways. 

The content on this website is part of the Arizona State Museum library, archives and photographic collections. 

The ASM Library and Archives is a research collection open to the public specializing in the anthropology of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, including archaeology, ethnology, ethnohistory, and material culture. 

ASM's anthropological photographic collection preserves a visual record of American Indian culture in the U.S. Southwest and northwest Mexico from ancient times (represented through photos of archaeology) to today. The collections' over 525,000 photographic prints, negatives, and transparencies provide documentation of the cultures, traditions, and technologies of the Indigenous peoples from the Paleo-Indian period to today and reflect 127 years of scholarly and avocational inquiry into the lifeways and aesthetic achievements of the Southwest’s native inhabitants and the physical evidence left by their ancestors.

The collection illustrates a continuum of lifeways, technological advances, and subsistence methods that enabled people to adapt and thrive in the desert, mountain, and plateau environments. The collection illustrates the variety of traditional technological production methods employed to create pottery, basketry, textiles, jewelry, and stone tools and illustrates how these methods transformed over time.

To help with your research: 

Contact Information

Descriptions of digital heritage items may include instances of outdated or offensive language. Please contact us for any takedown requests using the url for the item(s), or to make any changes to collection descriptions.

The library is open to the public Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11am-4pm. Access to archives is by appointment. Email larc@arizona.edu to make an appointment.

The photographic collections are available by appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. To make an appointment or to request a reproduction and/or permission to publish a photograph, contact Photo Collections Manager Jannelle Weakly at jweakly@arizona.edu.

ASM Library and Archives
Second Floor, Arizona State Museum North
1013 E. University Blvd
P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026


This project is supported by the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.