Finding Aid, Mary Ann Cole Site (12CR1) 1979-1981

Author(s): Jerry R. Watt

Year: 2012


The Veterans Curation Program utilizes the standard archival practice of unique naming of collections. The purpose of this practice is to avoid redundant and confusing collection names commonly found with archaeological investigations. Therefore, this collection is referred to as "Mary Ann Cole Site (12CR1) 1979-1981.” This name is consistent throughout the finding aid, the file folders, and the box labels. The extent of this collection is one linear foot that has been divided into two curation boxes based on a 25-pound weight limit restriction. The folders for the Mary Ann Cole (12CR1) 1979-1981 are housed in two Glenn A. Black Laboratory curation boxes. Oversized and photographic materials were removed from this collection. The total extent is two linear feet. A few areas of confusion existed during the rehabilitation of the collection. The Mary Ann Cole Site was located at the mouth of the Ohio and Blue Rivers. Lock and Dam 44 existed near the same location but had been dismantled and plans for a boat ramp and large parking area to be built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers were postponed indefinitely. Because of this, the subject property was being referred to as “Blue and Ohio Rivers,” instead of “Lock and Dam 44.” Cathy Van Arsdale, an employee with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Louis, Missouri, contacted a Louisville District archaeologist and a decision was made to keep the subject property name as U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District, Lock and Dam 44.

Another area of confusion was determining the contractor for this project. The entire archaeological project was planned and excavated by Soil Systems, Inc. (SSI); however in 1980, the company was sold to Resource Analysts, Inc. (RAI) after the excavation phase of the Mary Ann Cole Site (12CR1) 1979-1981 project was completed. Resource Analysts, Inc. completed the draft and final reports for the project. It was decided that because Resource Analysts, Inc. produced the final report, RAI would be listed as the contractor throughout the document rehabilitation. The collection displayed much strength, such as the immaculate documentation and safekeeping by Soil Systems, Inc. of paperwork regarding the legal war that raged on between Mary Ann and Jim Cole and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with their attorneys. The administrative, background, analysis, report, and field records that were kept were overall consistent with a company adept at maintaining recorded accounts that needed to be maintained for several years. The downside or weaknesses that were noticed were Soil System, Inc.’s failure to properly date most of the photographs that were taken of the site, and the photograph logs that were recorded were poorly completed.

Quite a bit of interpretation had to go in to the assessing, preserving, and rehabilitation of the collection. Additional records, including oversized and photographic materials, were received at a later date and incorporated into the document collection. Some items were picked up at the Glenn Black Laboratory of Archaeology, while other materials were received through the mail. The Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology (GBL) artifact catalog and inventory for this investigation were sent to the VCP electronically, printed on acid free paper, and housed with the associated documentation. Scanned asset numbers were not assigned, because the files were uploaded into the digital imaging database directly from the file sent by GBL. There were several items removed from this collection.

Approximately 250 photographic items were removed from this document collection, including photographic prints, proof sheets, negatives, and slides. Some of the photographic materials were duplicates; therefore, only one scanned asset number was assigned to these items. A curation grade notebook was used to house all the photographic materials. A photo log was present in the collection; however, it could not be used to identify the photographic materials due to discrepancies in the photo numbers and the information contained in the log. There were 22 oversized items removed from this collection. These items included oversized topographic maps, trench column profiles, excavation maps, blueprints, and inventory sheets. There were also eight newspapers removed from this collection. One of the oversized maps, which was a line drawing of the Mary Ann Cole excavations, required special attention. Mending with archival tissue tape was required to repair tears. For more information on the Mary Ann Cole Site (12CR1) 1979-1981 investigation, please refer to Mary Ann Cole Site (12CR1) 1976 and Mary Ann Cole Site (12CR1) 1977.

Cite this Record

Finding Aid, Mary Ann Cole Site (12CR1) 1979-1981. Jerry R. Watt. 2012 ( tDAR id: 425777) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8CN760X

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -88.726; min lat: 37.23 ; max long: -83.979; max lat: 42.618 ;


General Note: The digital materials in this collection were processed by the Veterans Curation Program (VCP), and include the artifact database, artifact report, finding aid, oversized materials database, photographic material spreadsheet, scanned asset key, and select artifact photographs. Additional digital materials held by VCP include additional artifact photographs, box inventories, card stock inserts, document folder listing, GBL artifact catalog, GBL catalog, initial data collection, oversized labels, oversized materials spreadsheet, personal notes, and a records removal sheet. For additional information on these materials, refer to the Finding Aid.

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
Finding-Aid.pdf 43.30kb Sep 27, 2016 11:57:15 AM Public