Curating Archaeological Collections / Edition 1

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Curation is rarely the first topic raised in an archaeological seminar or addressed in a fieldwork design. And, the authors point out, it is too rarely discussed at all. But the current crisis in repository space has increased awareness that the long-term conservation and preservation of the material remains and field notes of an archaeological project are as important as the finds themselves. Sullivan and Childs, two experienced archaeologists and museum professionals, provide an introductory guide to curation for archaeologists. Crucial to this process is the recognition of curation issues before the first day of fieldwork and continuous involvement of curators in the process throughout the archaeological project. The authors provide guidance on how to manage a collection, what to do with field notes and other project documents, how to find a repository for the collection, and how to adjust field practices so that the process runs smoothly. This brief, practical guide will be invaluable to all field archaeologists and their students, and to museum professionals who curate archaeological collections.

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Editorial Reviews

Museum Anthropology
Curating Archaeological Collections is not a comprehensive handbook for conservation of Attic vases or Andean textiles, but it is a timely and useful summary of "best practices" for repositories. And that's what we need. Curating Archaeological Collections also offers a reasoned, but forceful call for resolution of the curation crisis. This book belongs on the shelves of every U.S. museum with archaeological collections, and on the reading list of every curator and collection manager who deal with those collections. And the reading lists of Federal and State agencies which oversee the care of old collections and production of new collections.
Common Ground
Curating Archaeological Collections, by Lynne P. Sullivan and S. Terry Childs, fills a conspicuous gap in training for students, archeologists, and agencies that manage collections.
Common Ground
Curating Archaeological Collections, by Lynne P. Sullivan and S. Terry Childs, fills a conspicuous gap in training for students, archeologists, and agencies that manage collections.
Oxbow Book News
This volume, part of a new series designed to provide practical information to students and people studying archaeology, highlights the importance of considering curatorial issues early on in the design of archaeological projects.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780759100244
  • Publisher: AltaMira Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2003
  • Series: Archaeologist's Toolkit Series, #6
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 162
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.92 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynne P. Sullivan is curator of archaeology at the Frank H. McClung Museum and research associate professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Tennessee. S. Terry Childs is an archaeologist in the Archeology and Ethnography Program of the National Park Service in Washington, D.C.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Series Editors' Foreword Part 2 Acknowledgments Part 3 1 Introduction Part 4 2 A Brief History of Archaeological Curation in the United States Chapter 5 The Museum Era of Archaeology: Nineteenth Century to the 1930s / Early Federal Archaeology Programs: 1930s and 1940s / The Postwar Construction Boom and the "New Archaeology": 1945 to 1970 / Making versus Caring for Collections: The 1970s and Beyond / Part 6 3 The Current Status of Archaeological Collections Chapter 7 Federal Legislation and Policy / Key Elements of the Curation Crisis / The Bright Side Part 8 4 Repositories: What Are They, and What Do They Do? Chapter 9 Kinds of Repositories / What a Repository Does and Why / Responsibilities and Training of Repository Staff / Conclusion Part 10 5 Managing Curated Collections: The Basics Chapter 11 Acquistions Policies and Practices / Accessioning / Cataloging / Collections Preparation: Labeling and Conservation / Storage / Inventory Control and Data Management / Deaccessioning / Public Access and Use / Conclusion Part 12 6 Making a Collection: Fieldwork Practices and Curation Considerations Chapter 13 Before the Field: Project Design / In the Field: Sampling and Conservation / In the Laboratory: Applying the Sampling Strategy and More Conservation / In Your Office after the Field Project: Records Management / Conclusion Part 14 7 Working with a Repository Chapter 15 Arranging for Long-term Curation / Using Curated Collections / ConclusionI Part 16 8 The Future of Archaeological Collections Curation Chapter 17 Access: Collections in the Computer Age / Use of Curated Collections / The "Big Picture": Curated Collections as Samples of the Archaeological Record / Encouraging Repositories to Curate Representative Samples of the Archaeological Record / Coordinated Part 18 Appendix: Useful Internet Sites Relating to Curating Archaeological Collections Part 19 References Part 20 Index Part 21 About the Authors

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