Search Results for: the Robbins Museum

The Robbins Museum

For nearly 46 years (1943 – 1987), the Massachusetts Archaeological Society (MAS) maintained the Bronson Museum in Attleboro. By the late 1980’s MAS decided to seek new quarters with the potential for developing a larger museum for its expanding collection of over 90,000 artifacts, at that time, and for providing a facility for public education.


The Robbins Museum, 17 Jackson Street, Middleborough, Massachusetts

In 1988, James Read of the Read Sand and Gravel Corporation donated an excellent site in downtown Middleborough. The Robertson Factory building at 17 Jackson Street was renovated as a museum complex of 21,000 sq ft for exhibits and other operations. The new museum was named in honor of Dr. Maurice Robbins, the founder of the MAS.

Today the building has been completely transformed into an office, gift shop/book store, museum, collections conservation area, workshop, lecture hall and library. The collection now numbers approximately 150,000 artifacts. A “Room of Respect” for artifacts of a culturally sensitive nature has been constructed as well as a new archive room. The lecture hall and gallery were dedicated in 2000 in honor of the late Dr. Barbara Luedtke. A newly expanded section in the rear of the building serves as the MAS library. We are nearing completion of a display area for a major exhibit ” A Walk Through Time”. The exhibit showcases each of the major periods in New England’s Native past.

The Robbins Museum offers.

  • 4,550 square feet of display space
  • More than 3,000 artifacts on display, some are over 12,000 years old
  • Diorama of a 4,300 year old Native American New England village
  • Doyle collection of Native American dolls
  • Handcrafted mishoon (dugout canoe)
  • The Walk Through Time display: 12,000 years in the Northeast
  • Native American portrait gallery
  • Research library
  • Gift shop

 The Robbins Archaeological Museum is located
17 Jackson Street, Middleborough, Massachusetts 02346

Museum Hours:
Wednesday: 10AM to 4PM and Saturday: 10AM to 2PM

The Museum requests a donation of $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children under 16.
Admission is free for MAS members, Middleborough students and active duty US servicemen and women.

MAS Annual Meeting Rescheduled

The MAS Annual Meeting scheduled to be conducted as part of the MAS – ESAF – ASC conference has been rescheduled to Saturday, November 18, at the Robbins Museum in Middleborough. We request that MAS members attend the meeting so that we can obtain a quorum to act on important issues.

The conference event in New London will be held as planned.

The time of the MAS meeting and other details will be posted as they become available.

Support Our Society!

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Want to support the
Massachusetts Archaeological Society? 

Here’s how!

Donate to Our Society

The Massachusetts Archaeological Society is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering a respect for the Native peoples of Massachusetts through education, research, and preservation. The Society operates the Robbins Museum of Archaeology, which functions today thanks to our passionate team of volunteers who put tremendous effort into giving guided tours, creating and executing educational programming, caring for our collections, maintaining our historic building, and much more.

                    mas donation pic 3       mas donation pic 6             

Your charitable gift will ensure that our mission can continue into the future. Your generous donation–big or small–makes a difference. 

From all of us at the MAS and the Robbins Museum,  
we thank you for your support!

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Volunteer at the Robbins Museum!

A museum requires a wide array of time and talent to function, and we welcome you to lend your abilities to our institution! Whether you have experience in graphic design, web design, photography, collections care and management, libraries, or even answering phones, we would happily consider you! Please contact us at to learn about current opportunities.





Display Case Sponsorship Program

 Freddie Dimmick, President of the MAS, addresses the attendees.

Freddie Dimmick, President of the MAS, addresses the attendees. Photo by Tonya Largy.

Charles, Peter, Smith unveils his plaque.

Charles, Peter, Smith unveils his plaque. Photo by Tonya Largy

Participant Recognition

The Massachusetts Archaeological Society held an open house at the Robbins Museum on Saturday, Aug. 27 to express its appreciation to sponsors of some of our larger display cases. About 25 members and guests attended this event.

The following sponsors were honored at this event:

  • Carol Sullivan of Pembroke, who is a life member of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society. “I have a deep interest in Native American lore because of my father, whose grandmother was a Micmac Indian,” Ms. Sullivan said of her donation. “I am honored to share this interest with him.”
  • Charles R. Smith “Straight Arrow”, Pokanoket, and Shirley J. Reynolds “White Feather”, both of Marion, have sponsored two cases. They have a deep interest in Native Americans and want to promote the case sponsorship program.

The Board of Trustees of the Pratt Free School in North Middleborough. The school was incorporated in 1865, to be used as a free school to benefit all children 8 years of age who lived within a 2 ½ mile radius. This included parts of Bridgewater, Raynham and Lakeville. Today Pratt Free School Trustees give several scholarships each year to college-bound high school students. Other grants are given to educational community projects. In 2010 and 2011 funds were sent to help renovate the library extension at the Robbins Museum. As a result, the Pratt Free School sponsored two exhibits in the Museum.

Museum Coordinator Eugene Winter greeted the sponsors, and said, “Your gifts translate into the development of exhibits, including paint, nails and bolts, wiring, and other material items. But on a higher level, it means that you approve of our mission and the main areas we seek to present to our many constituencies, including Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Brownies, local school students and teachers, citizens and tourists from far and wide, scholars and researchers, authors, and artists. Your voluntary donations to us, a volunteer staff, combine your values with ours in presenting the Native American story. We are truly grateful for your gifts and all that they mean.”

The case sponsorship program allows museum patrons to offer their support in a concrete way by donating money. For a one time donation of $1,000, for a large case, or $750, for a smaller unit, businesses, organizations or individuals can sponsor the display cases in the museum. Their donations are recognized in the form of plaques on the sponsored display cases. These plaques were unveiled by the donors at the event.

Text by Prof. Curtiss Hoffman.

Robbins Museum of Archaeology
Display Case Program

For a one time donation of $1,000, for a large case, or $750, for a smaller unit, you can sponsor the display cases in the museum. A plaque with your name or the name of a person, organization or company that you wish to honor will be affixed to the structure.

The sponsorship is for the cases not the contents or theme of the display. Those may be changed.

Individual, group and corporate sponsorship welcomed.

Sponsorship Program table


The MAS Annual Meeting has been rescheduled.
The MAS – ESAF – ASC conference in New London will be held as planned.

MAS – ESAF – ASC Meeting November 2-5, 2017 New London, CT

See the Robbins Museum on WCVB-TV Channel 5’s Chronicle!

M.A.S. fosters public under-standing through educational programs and publications, and promotes scientific research; careful, well-directed archaeological activity; conservation of sites, data, and artifacts; and seeks to prevent the collection of specimens for commercial purposes.

Read the Latest Newsletter from M.A.S.

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Your Membership will Support M.A.S. in their endeavors to preserve the past.

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Visit the Robbins Museum

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At the Museum

Our Native American Doll Collection

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View The Nemasket Room

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Learn About the Past Viewing Artifacts

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Join A Chapter of M.A.S.

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M.A.S. Loses a Towering Figure and Friend

If you read the memorial to Gene then you can get some sense of why his life is being celebrated throughout the Northeast.

Gene twice served as president of the MAS, 1958-1960 and 1996-1998. Each time he guided the Society through important transitions.

Gene was the Museum Coordinator for the Robbins from the fall of 1999 to the fall of 2012. When the Museum (and the Society) was in need Gene found a way to help. He was not only responsible for designing and constructing some of the exhibits but often for acquiring the cases in which the items were displayed. Gene used his contacts throughout the archaeological community to find cases that were available and then he would either arrange for someone to pay for the shipping of the units to the Robbins or he would pay the freight costs himself. He occasionally designed the devices used to mount the artifacts within the cases. His gifts to the MAS did not end with display items.

When the Society needed new racks for artifact storage, Gene purchased them with his own funds. He also acquired the trays used to hold the artifacts. Often the source of these items was the Robert S. Peabody Museum, an institution (along with the staff) that was very dear to his heart.

When the education department needed source materials for a teacher training program, Gene loaned them books from his extensive personal library.

Along with the physical objects that Gene donated to the MAS, the other things that he gave mattered more.

Gene was always ready, willing and more than able to share his vast knowledge of New England archaeology, whether the recipients were fellow archaeologists, students or visitors to the Museum. Gene’s recall of past events and the people involved was legendary. He would be asked about an event from the late 1950’s and without hesitation he would describe the situation. During a recent discussion at an MAS board meeting he helped resolve an issue by describing a similar situation that he had witnessed many years ago at the Peabody.

Emily, Age 11, lives in a town on Buzzards Bay and walks her dog, Rocky on the beach every day. She’s always on the lookout for interesting things on these walks and came up with two very nice artifacts Her mother brought Emily to the Robbins Museum in Middleborough where they were identified by Eugene Winter, the Robbins Museum Coordinator, as Native American points.

Emily, Age 11, lives in a town on Buzzards Bay and walks her dog, Rocky on the beach every day. She’s always on the lookout for interesting things on these walks and came up with two very nice artifacts Her mother brought Emily to the Robbins Museum in Middleborough where they were identified by Eugene Winter, the Robbins Museum Coordinator, as Native American points.

Then there was the pleasure derived from just being in his company. Gene always had a story that would have you rolling in the aisles (if the Museum had an aisle). One would have paid an admission fee to attend the Wednesday lunches at the Robbins when Gene, Jeff Boudreau and the others in attendance would discuss the many unresolved questions in New England archaeology. On what turned out to be his last visit to the Robbins Gene brought his guitar and serenaded the Wednesday crew.

Gene was one of those rare individuals who made the world a better place just by his existence. He will truly be missed.

A Memorial Service and celebration of Gene’s life was held on Saturday, April 5, 2014, at the Robert S. Peabody Museum, Andover, MA.

Mass. Arch. Society (M.A.S.)

MAS logo COLOR-200
The Massachusetts Archaeological Society (MAS) stimulates the study of archaeology and Native American cultural history, especially in Massachusetts, and serves as a bond among all students of archaeology. 

The MAS fosters public understanding through educational programs and publications, and promotes scientific research, careful, well-directed archaeological activity, conservation of sites, data, and artifacts, and seeks to prevent collection of specimens for commercial purposes.

Since 1939, the MAS has studied the people whose cultural legacy is within the lands we walk upon today.


  • Over the past half century, MAS has:

  • Excavated many sites, including some of the most significant archaeological discoveries in Massachusetts.

  • Built an extensive collection of over 70,000 artifacts spanning 12,000 years of history.

  • Established a museum.
    New: The Robbins Museum is now open on Wednesdays from 10am to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm.

  • Founded a research library of some 2500 volumes in archaeology and anthropology, and an extensive collection of periodicals.

  • Provided education for children and adults, including courses, lectures, and archaeological fieldwork training.

  • Developed a respected Bulletin, now in its 54th year, the only journal of its kind in Massachusetts.

  • Developed ties with local Native American Communities.

  • Founded chapters across the state, which offers programs and opportunities to participate in the field.

  • Worked with state and local officials to identify and protect archaeological sites.


Robbins Museum
17 Jackson Street
Middleborough, Massachusetts 02346
Visiting Hours:
Wednesday 10 AM to 4 PM
Saturday 10 AM to 2 PM.

From Route 1-495 (North or South): Take Exit 4, Route 105. If you are traveling south on 495 turn left (east) at end of exit ramp. If you are traveling north on 495 bear right at the end of the ramp. This will put you on Main Street. Proceed through the second traffic light (center of town) one block to the intersection of N. Main (105) and Jackson Streets. Turn right onto Jackson Street. The Robbins Museum of Archaeology is located on the right, half a block down (#17). Free parking is available in the lot across the street.