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Research Implications for Archaeological Collections Management at a Small Academic Institution

Author(s): Douglas Sanford

Year: 2014

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This paper illuminates the common issues of archaeological collections management from the standpoint of a small, liberal arts college, the University of Mary Washington. As seen at other repositories, while collections management has not been a neglected aspect of our archaeological endeavors, it has suffered as a lower priority, contributing to problems that compound over time. My perspective has gained from teaching a new course on the topic, one that confronted our collections’ needs and enhanced what can be accomplished as to educational, public outreach, and research objectives. A key outcome and recommendation was that in order to enhance research goals, whether one’s own or others’, archaeologists must address the curation crisis while making information more available and collections more accessible. In order to do so, both current professionals and undergraduate and graduate students need more collections management training and exposure. We must consider philosophical and practical means for responding to the professional and ethical legacies of our institutions’ significant archaeological collections.

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Research Implications for Archaeological Collections Management at a Small Academic Institution. Douglas Sanford. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437322)

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PaperId(s): SYM-75,07

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