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Koren Building

The museum studies courses are taught in Koren Building, home to the departments of history, political science, education, anthropology, sociology, and social work. The college's archaeological comparative and teaching collections are also housed in Koren Building in the anthropology lab, found on the third floor.

On-campus resources can be found in Preus Library, an outstanding facility for a college the size of Luther with seating for more than 1,000 students and a collection of more than 340,000 volumes, subscriptions to more than 1,000 periodicals and newspapers, and a 400-volume rare book room.

There are three especially impressive historical collections at Preus Library:

  • one of Norwegian-American history
  • another concerning the Lutheran Reformation and the college's namesake, Martin Luther
  • and the Luther College Archives, which houses official college records dating from 1861 as well as unofficial papers of faculty and student organizations.

In addition, the college also curates and exhibits a notable collection of fine art  anchored by extensive holdings representing the works of Herbjørn Gausta, Marguerite Wildenhain, and Gerhard Marcks.

The biology department curates, exhibits, and conducts research on their natural history collections, which include a sizeable bird egg and nest collection, more than 1,000 plant specimens, more than 5,000 vertebrate specimens, and more than 6,000 invertebrate specimens.

The physics department also curates a small collection of geological specimens  and fossils from Northeast Iowa, which it uses for classroom activities and individual research.

Finally, the anthropology department curates three substantial collections of cultural material.

  • a collection of archaeological artifacts, numbering more than one million objects, primarily from Eastern Iowa
  • more than 1,000 ethnographic objects collected from across North America, Africa, Asia, and Europe from the late 1800s up to roughly 1970
  • a numismatic collection that includes Ancient Greek, Roman, and Jewish coins, along with historic American currency, postage notes, coinage, and political medals as well as numerous examples of foreign currency from around the world.

For more information on Luther’s collections, visit our collections page. Extensive off-campus historical resources can be found at the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, located in Decorah's business district. The museum houses one of the largest and finest ethnic-heritage collections in the United States. Originally part of the college, the museum is open to Luther students at no charge. Other museums and heritage locations in the region include the Porter House Museum in Decorah, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Burr Oak, Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harper’s Ferry, Iowa, and the Allamakee County Museum in Waukon.

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