Koren Center and Preus Library house a rich collection of archaeological materials and an extensive ethnographic collection. The archaeological collection consists of more than a million prehistoric and historic artifacts from nearly 400 Native American and Euro-American sites in Iowa and the Upper Midwest.
Of particular interest are materials from northeast Iowa sites collected by the late Gavin Sampson of Decorah. The Sampson collection is a significant resource for research on northeast Iowa prehistory. The ethnographic collection consists of nearly a thousand artifacts collected from living cultures around the world between the 1880s and 1920s. The majority of the items are representative of Native American cultures, including Inuit (Eskimo), Sioux, Mandan, Pueblo, Ho-Chunk (Winnebago), Chippewa, Seminole, and Northwest Coast peoples. Other ethnographic materials present in the collection are from Central and South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and Oceania.
The archaeological and ethnographic collections are supported in part by an endowed fund established for the purpose of managing and maintaining a material culture resource for the Luther College community, for education outreach services for the community at large, and for use by outside professionals and students engaged in scholarly research.