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Research

Illinois State Museum researchers investigate the climate, landforms, plants, animals, and human cultures of the Midwestern United States with a special emphasis on Illinois. Research illuminates long-term changes in natural environments and human societies and provides interdisciplinary perspectives of the rich natural and cultural history of the state.

Below are links to the data collected from ISM Research programs.

The Illinois State Museum (ISM) has implemented a moratorium and prohibits all previously approved, pending, ongoing, and new research and imaging of human remains (including DNA) and cultural objects subject to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) that are reported in the ISM’s inventory to National NAGPRA. The ISM has recalled all loans of collections in its NAGPRA inventory. Consultation is needed on these previously reported holdings, whether under claim or yet to be claimed, to determine repatriation and disposition. In pursuit of its commitment to Tribal Nations, the ISM will engage in meaningful collaboration with tribal communities and defer to their guidance on these matters.

Creation, publication, and reproduction of images of human remains and cultural objects in the ISM’s control which are subject to NAGPRA is expressly prohibited without written consent from the appropriate Tribal Nations, as determined by the ISM NAGPRA committee in consultation with Tribal representatives. Images include, but may not be limited to photography, drawings, 3D scans, CT scans, X-rays, or other depictions or illustrations of human remains and cultural objects subject to NAGPRA.

Documentation of collections by tribal representatives and designated ISM staff members to determine NAGPRA eligibility and cultural or geographical affiliation pursuant to NAGPRA is not considered new research under this policy. Any images generated during documentation will be for internal use only and not available to researchers or the public.

More information on NAGPRA is available from the National NAGPRA Program.

Approved by the Illinois State Museum Board of Directors, June 14, 2021.

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