Saving the Past from the Future: Archaeological Curation in the St. Louis District
The St. Louis District, Corps of Engineers has been involved with the management of archaeological resources removed from District property for over 30 years. At least 92 collection-generating projects were completed during this period. Vast quantities of archaeological materials salvaged from these operations are now stored in the repositories of ten curatorial institutions in Missouri and Illinois. Over the years, Corps personnel have become increasingly aware of the inability of most institutions to provide the necessary collection maintenance and storage environment essential to the long-term preservation of these materials.
In an attempt to comply with ER 1130-2-433 and in anticipation of implementation of 36 CFR Part 79, the St. Louis District, Corps of Engineers conducted an inspection in 1988 of all curation facilities which house District collections. The purpose of the inspection was to:
1. Examine the facilities which curated District property.
2. Inventory District collections.
3. Determine if the District's curation activities were in compliance with existing federal laws and regulations.
The first task was to identify the numerous contracts negotiated by the St. Louis District over the past 30 years for archaeological salvage. An attempt was then made to identify reports and collections associated with the various contracts. A formal questionnaire (see Appendix II) was devised to elicit enough background information on the repositories to permit implementation of an efficient and adequate inventory of collections. Specific information was sought on a repository's capabilities of conforming to basic curatorial standards as specified in 36 CFR Part 79.
Current operational state of the repository and its plans for the future were of particular concern, especially its ability to standardize operations and maintain adequate control over District resources. Corps personnel then visited each repository, conducted interviews with curatorial staff, and personally inspected the collections and associated documentation.
In all, some 92 collections, totaling over 3,400 cubic feet of artifacts and associated records, are under the jurisdiction of the St. Louis District. These materials are stored in ten different repositories, seven in Illinois and three in Missouri. Several collections, which have since been returned, were located in repositories at the University of New Mexico, the University of Massachusetts, and Ohio State University. A number of outstanding collections have not been returned.
Cite this Record
Saving the Past from the Future: Archaeological Curation in the St. Louis District. Michael K. Trimble, Thomas B. Meyers. St. Louis, MO: US Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections, St. Louis District. 1991 ( tDAR id: 413716) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8GQ70ZG
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
Alton Lock and Dam • Bauman Site • Big Five Project Area • Big Muddy Basin • Blue Waters Ditch • Cahokia Canal • Cape Girardeau • Cape Lacroix • Carlyle Lake • Carlyle Reservoir • Centerville Site • Eagle Creek State Park • Eldred-Spankey Interior Levee • Frog City • George Ward and Neva Fultz Sites • Gravity and Fox Pup Sites • Gravois Creek • Gray Day Site • Harding Ditch • Hartwell Levee • Hillview • Hinners Site • Historical Kaskaskia • Kaskaskia Island Levee • Kaskaskia-Okaw Drainage • Lilly Lake Site • Lower Kaskaskia • Maline Creek Watershed • Marty Coolidge Site • Mauvaise Terre Drainage and Levee District • Meramec Reservoir • Meredosia • Mississippi River Shoreline • Mortland Island Site • Naples-Tabbycat Site • Nine Foot Channel • Nutwood Levee • Old Greenville Recreation Area • Pine Ford Lake • Plattin Creek Drainage • Rend • Shelbyville • St. Louis Arsenal • St. Louis Harbor • Sumac Site • Union Reservoir • Valley Park Levee • Wappapello • Wilborn Creek Show More
min long: -94.263; min lat: 36.668 ; max long: -87.319; max lat: 42.747 ;
Individual & Institutional Roles
Contributor(s): Larry Banks; Terry Norris; Owen Dutt; Paul Katz; Terry Martin; Michael Wiant; Pete Hawk; Charles Cobb; Bill Woods; Kevin McGowan; Robert Reeder; James Price; Joseph Nixon; Mike McNerney
Landowner(s): US Army Corps of Engineers, St Louis District
Repository(s): University of Missouri-Columbia; University of Missouri-St. Louis; University of Missouri-Naylor; Southern Illinois University-Carbondale; University of Illinois - Lincoln Hall; Illinois State Museum, Research and Collections Center, Springfield; Center for American Archaeology, Kampsville, IL; Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville; Illinois State University - Anthropology Building; American Resources Group Ltd., Carbondale, Illinois
Submitted To(s): Commander, Lower Mississippi Valley Division
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