Scott County Courthouse Eagle

This eagle graced the top of the Scott County Courthouse in Davenport, Iowa, until its removal in 1886. It is made of beaten copper sections held together with bead solder and painted gold. Catalog No. MG 374

Mississippian Effigy Head Pot

A unique and rare example of Mississippian effigy pottery, this head pot may represent the portrait of an individual who lived over 600 years ago. Each pot is unique with different tattoos, piercings and hairstyles. Catalog No. AR 23891

Pomo Feather Basket

This small feather basket is a beautiful example of the unparalleled skill and artistry of the Pomo Indian weavers of northern California. The feathers are from California quail and western meadowlark. Catalog No. AE 900

Japanese Waxwing

This beautiful little bird is a Japanese waxwing, Bombycilla japonica. It was received from Charles A. Ficke, in 1905, along with about 50 other birds from Japan. Catalog No. BF 1

Calcite on Limestone

This is a classic example from the coal mines near Oskaloosa, Iowa, featuring two generations of calcite on a limestone matrix. The first generation consists of dark, iridescent crystals, while the second features tall, white dogtooth crystals. Catalog No. GM 3219

The Collections

In support of its mission, the Putnam cares for more than 170,000 objects, specimens and archival materials which tell the story of the Quad Cities natural and human history. The collection is organized into the following broad categories:
  • Natural Science: geology, paleontology, and biology
  • Regional History: social, political, cultural and economic history
  • Anthropology: archaeology and ethnography
  • Archives: regional archival and photographic materials and institutional archives. 
As the primary steward of our region’s treasures, the Putnam collects, researches, exhibits and preserves materials from the Quad Cities region and around the world. The museum maintains diverse permanent collections in History, Anthropology (Archaeology and Ethnology) and the Natural Sciences (Biology, Geology and Paleontology). A substantial Regional Archive of materials documenting local individuals, families, organizations and businesses is also maintained. These collections are an exceptional asset for research, education and exhibition. They are unique among those of the Quad Cities in their capacity to contribute to our visitors’ discovery and exploration of cultures and environments throughout time and across the globe. 
We are currently working towards making our collections available online.   
Investigate some of the Museum’s Collections:
All requests for research privileges and appointments must be made in advance.  
Research and information requests about the collections may be directed to the following staff members.


Christine Chandler 
Curator of Natural Science
563-324-1054 ext. 226
563-336-7287 (direct line)


Christina Kastell 
Curator of History and Anthropology
563-324-1054 ext. 227
563-336-7293 (direct line)


Christina Kastell or Christine Chandler
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