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Curating Rhode Island’s History: Lessons in Accountability and the Rehabilitation of State-owned Collections

Author(s): Danielle R Cathcart ; Heather Olson

Year: 2016

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Summary

As we celebrate the anniversary of the NHPA, many states are now coming to terms with the immensity of the archaeological collections gathered on their behalf over the past fifty years. While academics and professionals have become experts at minimizing the effects of development on buried and extant cultural resources through archaeological excavation, these endeavors have amassed a staggering amount of objects and information that too often languishes in deteriorating bags and boxes—poorly curated, underreported, and orphaned from their associated documentation. In 2014, the Rhode Island Department of Transportation hired the Public Archaeology Laboratory to update the curation conditions of over 150 archaeological collections and to create an integrated accessions database that allows the RIDOT to digitally and physically account for their state-owned collections. The challenges of such a task can certainly seem monumental; however, this paper will demonstrate that the results are well worth the effort.


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Curating Rhode Island’s History: Lessons in Accountability and the Rehabilitation of State-owned Collections. Danielle R Cathcart, Heather Olson. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 434967)


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Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 351

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America