The C. E. Smith Museum of Anthropology was founded in 1975 and opened its exhibition gallery in 1979. Established as a teaching museum for the instruction of museum studies in an anthropological context, the museum provides hands-on opportunities for students to learn museology and to work with archaeology and ethnology materials. The Museum strives to demonstrate human diversity and the range of human achievement throughout the world with both traditional cultural forms and their contemporary expressions and influences. Recognizing the value of material culture, exhibits use art and artifacts to illustrate all aspects of human culture from around the world, features of culture change, and technological as well as biological evolution.
The museum is named in honor of the late Dr. Clarence "Smitty" Smith, who founded the museum, and houses significant collections of archaeological & ethnographic items from Africa, Asia, and North America, as well as small collections from Central and South America.