Institute for Human Science and Culture logo displayed on a wall

Land Acknowledgement

The Institute for Human Science and Culture is located on lands that have been home to many diverse nations, including the Ohio Seneca and Cayuga, the Lenni Lenape (Delaware), the Miami, the Shawnee, the Wyandot (Wendat), the Ottawa (Odawa) and the Ojibwe Nations. These lands were ceded in the 1805 Treaty of Fort Industry and the forced removal of tribes through the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Institute pays respect to the land and lives of Indigenous Nations past and present, and is committed to a process of continual learning, reflection and reconciliation.

Learn more about The University of Akron's Land Acknowledgement.

Institute History

An open atrium with sunlight shining in

The Institute for Human Science & Culture was founded at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology in the early 2010s. Following a generous gift from Jim and Vanita Oelschlager, the 3rd and 4th floors of the Cummings Center were renovated to include a stable storage facility and a dedicated gallery space to house and exhibit the Oak Native American Ethnographic Collection. The Institute opened to the public in September 2019.

Along with the Oak Native American Gallery, the Institute boasts a large, rotating-exhibition space named for Dr. Lynn R. Metzger, a cultural anthropologist and community leader who forged the connection between the Oelschlagers, the Oak Collection, and The University of Akron prior to the founding of the Institute.

In addition to the Oak Collection, the Institute houses three more key collections, each of which belonged to individual collectors before being donated to the University to be used as educational tools for campus and community. 

Inclusion Statement

The Institute for Human Science and Culture is committed to providing all audiences with access to arts, culture, and community. We recognize the systematic barriers that lead to inequity and seek to contribute to the creation of a more inclusive and equitable culture. This includes addressing the historic and continuing role of human science and culture studies in supporting and rationalizing unjust systems and practices. We stand against social injustice, including all forms of racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia. Further, we recognize that the process of more accurately representing and uplifting marginalized groups in our work is both ongoing and necessary.

We are actively working to create inclusive exhibits, programming, and collecting policies that center historically marginalized voices. We strive to ensure that our programs are designed to be accessible to all visitors and that our collecting policies reflect a commitment to representing these voices. We will work to assist visitors with disabilities in accessing all portions of our galleries, as well as in conducting research within our archival holdings.

For more information on the physical accessibility of our building, please visit our Accessibility page.