Curation Standards


Notice About Updated Revisions to Standards

In an attempt to keep up with changing standards and technologies, the Waring Laboratory has recently updated the Curation Standards and associated documents.  Updated standards include required micro-environment for diagnostic metal, properly labeled photos, and electronic submission with specifications of the artifact, document, and photo catalog. These updates also include clarifications from the previous version.  You can find a copy of the recently updated standards below.  These standards will go into effect for any collection that begins after August 19, 2010.  Any collections that began before this time must still adhere to the old standards.  Please do not hesitate to contact the Waring Laboratory if you have any questions or concerns.


Waring Standards for Archaeological Collections (2010)

pdf_icon_smallReview Collections Standards

The standards apply to archaeological collections curated at the Antonio J. Waring, Jr. Archaeological Laboratory (Waring Laboratory).  Because the research value of a group of artifacts stems directly from the information contained in their associated records, artifacts and their associated records are jointly referred to as a “collection” in this document. These standards define the minimum level of documentation, cataloging, and processing required for curatorial purposes.  Each collection is evaluated for curation on an individual basis.  Special arrangements may be made for a collection comprised of multiple small projects. Archaeologists are encouraged to consult with the Curator of Collections or Laboratory Director early in the planning stages of particular projects regarding processing issues and to resolve any questions regarding our curation of the collection.  Archaeologists also should consult Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR 79) as well as the National Park Service’s Museum Handbook (Part I, Museum Collections) and Managing Archeological Collections: Technical Assistance.

Curation Labeling and Packaging Guide (2010)

pdf_icon_small Review Labeling and Packaging Guide

Archival labeling and packaging of objects, or groups of objects, are essential for the preservation and use of materials within an archaeological collection.  Proper packaging and labeling ensures that collection information, most importantly that associated with the object’s provenience, is maintained and accessible.  A curated archaeological collection and its component parts are not simply warehoused.  The information contained within each collection has continuing value and is used for a wide variety of purposes, including scholarly research, specialized analysis, heritage education, and public exhibition.  On many occasions, an individual object or small group of objects needs to be removed temporarily from the collection. A well-organized collection, properly labeled and packaged, effectively limits the possibility of information loss that can occur when an object has to be separated from its associated collection.