Procedures for Acceptance of CRM-Generated Archaeological Collections and Records

The submission of archaeological collections and associated records generated through cultural resource management activities will be accepted for custodial storage at the AAL when these collections meet the criteria specified in the AAL’s stated Scope of Collections.  Each submission will be measured against the AAL curation standards, which will be provided to each interested party when requested.

Materials will not be accepted unless they are submitted in analytical categories used for analysis and reporting.  When collections do not meet these standards, submitter will be asked to modify collection to comply.  This may be done by returning materials for additional work and correction of deficiencies by the AAL staff for a standard fee.

All collections including records and materials, must be accompanied by a set of forms required by the AAL to create the accession file. These forms can be received from Dr. Leslie Cecil, Laboratory Director.

Documents and artifactual materials will be inspected to verify that they meet the AAL’s standards and conform to the THC’s standards for held-in-trust collections when applicable.  This includes but is not limited to:

  • Review of processing record for documentation of cleaning and preservation treatments;

  • Inspection of individual artifacts to verify that labeling is legible, including no bubbling of topcoat, and appropriate types and quantities of items have been labeled;

  • Inspection of polyethylene zip-locking bags to verify appropriate thickness, items requiring double-bagging are packaged accordingly, and artifact bag tags are read easily. The artifact tags will be spot checked for acid and lignin content;

  • Verification that items illustrated in report are easily found within collection by use of lot and/or catalogue/specimen numbers;

  • Groupings of artifacts are inspected for appropriateness, that is, bone is not placed with debitage. Boxes and groups of artifacts should also be clearly labeled to allow the AAL staff to transfer the materials to repository storage media and locations with a minimum of effort. Any excessive time and/or cost of materials required to resort the materials into curation boxes may be charged to submitter;

  • Documentation submitted with collection is appropriate and complete. Field records from any professional organization are expected to include excavation unit-level, shovel tests, feature, and backhoe trench forms; photographic logs and images; analysis records; a lab or report inventory in hard-copy and on electronic media; and a copy of final report. Collections derived from non-professional investigations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. All documentation will be checked for soiled, oversized, fragile, or acidic papers. Photographic materials will be reviewed for accuracy of photographic log to actual images. Negatives and slides should be submitted in polyethylene sleeves. Prints or contact sheets must be placed into polyethylene plastic sleeves and roll/frame numbers clearly written on reverse of image. Only film-marking pen or pencil is acceptable for handwritten information. Verification of colorfastness of any hard copy of a digital image will occur. Original records that are soiled or fragile and have not been placed into archival quality page protectors will be so protected and time/supplies expended may be charged to submitter. Oversized maps folded to fit in letter or legal folders will be removed and placed into archival folders of appropriate size. Multiple acidic and non-colorfast pages will be separated by acid-free tissue paper.

  • A specimen inventory or catalog, at least to the class level, must be included with materials. Any original individual specimen catalogues should also be submitted. Both of these inventories should include full provenience information, lot, and catalogue numbers assigned to each individual item or class of items. Any specific cataloging schemes should be spelled out in records and will be used to verify items can be located within the collection. An electronic inventory of collections is required. All state held-in-trust collection inventories will be checked for accuracy at additional cost to submitter. Verified inventory will be submitted to the THC for state held-in-trust collections upon payment of curation costs has been received, and prior to THC Artifact Curation Form being signed.

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