From the initial focus on archaeology, the Abbe soon expanded its scope to include ethnographic materials from the 17th through 20th centuries. In 1931, Mary Cabot Wheelwright, founder of the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian in Santa Fe, donated an important collection of Native American baskets and other objects. Other major basket collections have been given to the Museum, and as a result, it holds the largest and best documented collection of Maine Indian basketry. The Museum also has acquired an extensive contemporary collection documenting the continuing Wabanaki craft tradition in Maine. The Abbe's collections now represent 12,000 years of Native American culture and history in Maine, and its conservation program has been recognized nationally as a model for museums. As the collections grew, the Museum also expanded its educational role. Small exhibits on subjects such as basketmaking and the Museum's founding complemented the displays of archaeological artifacts. The Abbe also developed publications to share its scholarship with a broader audience. The Museum began collaborating with Native people and, during the 1980s and 1990s, mounted exhibitions on themes such as the birchbark art of Tomah Joseph, the role of Wabanaki basketmakers in the local tourist economy and the archaeology of the Ruth Moore site. The 70th anniversary exhibition Beads, Bones, and Ancient Stones was favorably noted in The New York Times. During recent decades, Native Americans have become increasingly involved in all aspects of the Museum, including policy-making as members of the Board of Trustees.