Finding Aid, Shell Bluff Site (22LO530) 1979-1986


The Shell Bluff document collection was obtained from the Cobb Institute of Archaeology, University of Mississippi. The original housing of this collection consisted of 66 linear inches of acid-free tri-tab folders contained within five acid-free boxes, plus a half-box of photographs. Document boxes were labelled 0192 to 0196 by the Cobb Institute. A majority of the folders were housed according to provenience rather than by record type. Also, although folders were numbered sequentially, there were several folders numbered and labelled “empty” to preserve the system. Some folders were stacked on top of other folders, and all boxes were packed with newspaper. One interior acid-free box was found to contain data cards for the Shell Bluff collection and was retained in place. Photographic materials were divided into sections and housed in acidic hanging file folders contaminating the acid-free folders. Despite this general division of the collection into archival and photographic materials, photographs were found attached to several field documents. A note was found stating that oversized documents were housed elsewhere at the Cobb Institute; however, these items were not located when the collection was provided to the VCP, and the collection was processed as though those items no longer exist. Several documents were later added to the document collection.

All documents were thoroughly cleaned. Flattening techniques, including humidification, were used to diminish creases and folds. Pressure-sensitive tape repairs of rips and tears were also present. The pressure-sensitive tape was removed, and documents were mended with acid-free tissue mending tape. Many of the documents metal contaminants binding them together. All metal contaminants were removed, and any rust stains were cleaned as best as possible. Non-historic newspaper wadding, used as a packing material, was removed from the boxes and replaced with acid-free cardboard spacers. All documents were rehoused in new acid-free folders. Generally, documents were kept with those found in the same original folder. There were a few instances, however, when moving files improved the information content. For instance, half of Crusoe’s excavation report was found separately in the Administrative records, but pagination and handwriting helped to establish that these belonged with the rest of the document in the field records. One new folder was made to distinguish between the Bag List for University of Southern Mississippi field work and the Bag List for Mississippi State excavation units. The first 100 bag numbers exist for both excavations. A cursory review of the Catalog Form documents indicated that the organization of catalog numbers and the arrangement of old folders was based on a rough division of bags into lithic artifacts and ceramic artifacts. These folders were named “Ceramic Catalog Forms” and “Lithic Catalog Forms” to indicate this division and to shed light on the unusual groupings of catalog numbers within each folder. In the analysis records, the University of Mississippi temporary site number was often, but not always, used as a prefix to the catalog number. The prefix “P55” indicates Shell Bluff, and was dropped from the scanned asset descriptions for ease of navigation.

Documents containing personally identifiable information were removed and copied onto acid-free paper. Copies with Social Security numbers were blacked out using a Sharpie, and then copied again. The second copy was blacked out once more due to visible print. A final (third) copy was made on acid-free paper with all personal information unreadable. Originals were shredded after confirmation of an acceptable working copy. The redacted copy was placed in the document collection in the original document location.

For more information about the Shell Bluff Site (22LO530) 1979-1986 investigation, please refer to a related Mobile District document collection entitled Waverly Plantation Ethnoarchaeological Investigation 1979-1980. There are some photographic materials in this document collection that may pertain to the Shell Bluff Site (22LO530) 1979-1986 investigation.

Cite this Record

Finding Aid, Shell Bluff Site (22LO530) 1979-1986. Michael Adair, Christopher Collazos, Jonathan Cornell, Brandon Holloman, Laura Levering, Michael Mullins, Brandie Taylor, Dennis White. 2015 ( tDAR id: 426888) ; doi:10.6067/XCV81J9DHF

Spatial Coverage

min long: -88.726; min lat: 33.275 ; max long: -88.278; max lat: 33.683 ;


General Note: The digital materials in this collection were processed by the Veterans Curation Program (VCP), and include the finding aid, oversized material spreadsheet, photographic material spreadsheet, scanned asset key, and select archival photographs. Additional digital materials held by the VCP include administrative files, additional archival photographs, archives database, box inventory, box labels, correspondence, document folder listing, notes, oversized material labels, photographic material labels, photographic slide labels, project proposal, 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
FindingAid.pdf 98.78kb Dec 29, 2016 11:41:25 AM Public