A Pilot Examination for Curation Partnership Implementation for the Department of Defense
Since the 1906 Antiquities Act, several major laws and regulations have directed the land-managing agencies of the federal government to appropriately house and preserve archaeological materials recovered from federal lands or by federally-funded projects for long-term public benefit. The Department of Defense armed services—including the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and Marines, and the U.S. Air Force—manage a significant number of archaeological collections and are therefore subject to these laws and regulations. In particular, 36 CFR Part 79, Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections (1991) lays out standards for curating and housing federal archaeological collections.
Unfortunately, over approximately the last 50 years, while archaeological investigations were conducted under federal statutes, the recovered materials and associated documentation (which together form archaeological collections) have not been well managed. In fact, a recently completed national inventory of DoD archaeological collections (Anderson 2000, Felix 2000) has determined that the objects and records are highly decentralized, are rarely adequately cared for, and are generally not actively managed. This is a significant management problem when volume of these collections is considered.
The national inventory concluded that DoD archaeological collections represent over 19,000 cubic feet of artifacts, and 2,600 linear feet of associated documentation. The report also noted that these collections were stored at over 450 repositories nationwide, including museums, universities, contract firms, federal agency offices, military installations, private and public archaeological societies, and even individual storage facilities and residences. With this level of decentralization and with few concerted management efforts, proper curation to federal standards has rarely been attained for DoD archaeological collections.
Cite this Record
A Pilot Examination for Curation Partnership Implementation for the Department of Defense. Eugene A. Marino, Christopher B. Pulliam, Michael K. Trimble. Technical Report ,No. 30. St. Louis, MO: US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District. 2002 ( tDAR id: 413616) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8FX7CMQ
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -124.058; min lat: 37.996 ; max long: -75.762; max lat: 49.668 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Repository(s): Museum of the Rockies, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT; Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory, Maryland; Thomas Burke Memorial Washington State Museum, University of Washington, Washington
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