Applications are available to students, faculty and other qualified professionals who wish to study the collection. Download either the Pacific Student Research Request document, the Pacific Faculty Research Request document or the Visiting Scholar/Student Research Request document for instructions.
The collection consists only of human cranial material. Individuals may be represented by skulls, crania or mandibles.
There are approximately 1,500 skulls in the collection.
The collection has good-sized samples of the stages of growth, from in utero to old age. Age categories based on dental eruption patterns are, approximately, as follows:
The following areas of origin are represented in the collection: Mexico (n=201 crania), India (n=24), Europe (n=23), Peru (n=10), Asia (n=6), Australia/New Zealand (n=7).
Loans are permitted only for special circumstances. See the Collections Policy section for additional information.
In the 1920s, Dr. Spencer R. Atkinson, an internationally renowned orthodontist, began accumulating skulls for research purposes. The collection passed to the University of the Pacific in 1964. For the complete story, read this Contact Point article (Vol. 80, No. 3, PDF).
A list of citations resulting from study of the collection is available here.
Dr. Dorothy Dechant, Curator
Institute of Dental History and Craniofacial Study
University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry
155 Fifth Street
San Francisco, CA 94103