Oppenheim’s passion for collecting was awakened early while he was living at home with his family. Later, on his journeys in the Near East he was initially motivated to acquire objects which he saw in use in everyday life for his collection. The expansion of his collection went hand in hand with his increasingly ambitious research. But it was not just scholarly interest; rather, it was his intention to document with objects, as comprehensively and vividly as possible, the many and varied aspects of the geographic and cultural landscape.
Oppenheim wrote extensively about the Orient, beginning in the 1890s and continuing down to a few years before he passed away. Deserving of special mention among his wide-ranging published works are the description of his journey from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, his work on the Bedouin, and the reports about his excavations at Tell Halaf. Two series produced by the Foundation continue this publishing legacy. And in the meantime, Oppenheim himself has become a subject of research into myriad themes of an adventurous life, reflecting his many diverse interests.