Witte Museum has thousands of artifacts to explore at their collections center

B. Naylor Morton Research and Collections center is located next to museum

SAN ANTONIO – The Witte Museum has hundreds of thousands of artifacts that you can explore their collection -- a collection filled with one of a kind items you won’t see anywhere else.

“All of the drawers are lined with glass on top. They’re very hard cases. They were actually made in Ottawa, Canada,” Marise McDermott, president and CEO of the Witte Museum said.

The museum cases protect historic artifacts.

“In our anthropology drawer, there is an 8,000 year old sandal,” McDermott said.

The items are at the B. Naylor Morton Research and Collections Center, located next to the Witte Museum.

“Susan Naylor, who is an amazing donor. Her father collected a lot, and so she named this whole research center after her dad, B. Naylor,” McDermott said.

McDermott said the Witte has about 320,000 artifacts in total.

“The Witte was founded in 1926 and we’ve been collecting ever since,” McDermott said.

There are also items here connected to recent events, including the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Witte is very serious about a rapid collecting methodology to make sure that we’re collecting historic times in our lives now, so that 100 years from now, people will have the actual evidence of what happened historically,” McDermott said.

On the second floor, there’s more to explore.

“You can actually see the Witte’s Texas Art Collection in what we call visible storage,” McDermott said.

The Research and Collections Center is open to the public. A volunteer or staff member will show you around.

“This is a place where they can become the curator. They can become the curator. They can become the explorer,” McDermott said.

About the Author

Tiffany Huertas is a reporter for KSAT 12 known for her in-depth storytelling and her involvement with the community.

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