Obligations and Opportunities of Old Collections, a Boston Perspective

Author(s): Joseph M. Bagley

Year: 2015


The City of Boston Archaeology Laboratory contains nearly two-dozen archaeological assemblages totaling 2,000 boxes and well over 1,000,000 artifacts.  The vast majority of these collections were excavated between 1975 and 1995, which poses a monumental challenge of re-cataloging, re-organizing, and re-analyzing collections that have defined the early history of Northeast historical archaeology.  These collections also represent a great opportunity for students and researchers to examine collections without the risks associated with new fieldwork, which too often results in a lack of relavent data, redesigned theses, and years of additional enrollment.  Beyond the realm of academia, these assemblages represent ideal opportunities for public engagement through the sharing of collection highlights online, display opportunities, or involving the public in the process of re-discovery of old collections. This paper celebrates Boston's approach to the inclusion of public interaction and academic research in older collections.

Cite this Record

Obligations and Opportunities of Old Collections, a Boston Perspective. Joseph M. Bagley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433912)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 187