FIELD MUSEUM AND THE 1918    INFLUENZA PANDEMIC
AND ILLNESS, HEALTH, AND HEALING COLLECTIONS

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Like today's COVID-19, the Field Museum was part of the fabric of Chicago during the 1918 Influenza Pandemic. During that time, the Museum's current building was under construction, and collections which were accessioned from the 1893 World's Fair were housed at the Field Columbian Museum (1894-1921) in what is now the Museum of Science and Industry. Museum curators continued to collect in 1918, although none of the objects documented or represented the Influenza Pandemic. Explore the sections below to learn more about the Field Museum in 1918, and view a selection of Anthropology collections on illness, health, and healing from subsequent years which embody humanity's resilience in the face of widespread illness past and present.

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THE FIELD MUSEUM 1918

These images, drawn from Field Museum archives, show construction of the Museum we know today.  Construction of the Museum's current home coincided with the Influenza Pandemic, as well as WWI. 

 

Scroll through these images to see the construction from various perspectives. Scans of documents show the Annual Report of the Director, plans to convert the Museum for use as a hospital for troops during the war, and a glimpse of anthropology accessions from 1918.  

COLLECTIONS ON ILLNESS, HEALTH & HEALING

The Field Museum’s Anthropology collections include objects reflecting diverse forms of experience and expertise related to preventing and curing illness.