In the 1980s, a group of archaeologists left Thailand to continue their studies in France. During their time abroad, these scholars were able to appreciate and learn from the extensive collections of artifacts and relics from Thailand and Southeast Asia housed in French museums. Their delight in this discovery was tempered by a sense of loss and sadness; the archaeologists wished that these material expressions of Thai history and culture were available not only to museum visitors in France but also to Thai people in Thailand. Therefore, upon returning to the Faculty of Archaeology of Silpakorn University in the late 80s, the scholars began to plan for the creation of an anthropology organization within the faculty that would enable them to build a collection of research materials – books, manuscripts, inscriptions, as well as materials objects – that were central to research in art history, archaeology, and the cultures of Southeast Asia.