Collections-Based Research Survey Initial Results

The members of the SHA Collections and Curation Committee are working to develop resources for anyone generating, curating, or researching archaeological collections. To read about our activities, check out the minutes of recent Committee meetings here. To join the committee, follow our activities, or ask a question, contact Elizabeth Bollwerk, Chair (

Statement of Aims

The Committee seeks to promote informed practice across the professional community by developing guidelines and sponsoring applied tools and methods for collections management. Its guiding principle is that of accessibility of archaeological information, which informs and shapes its outreach on collections and relationships with practitioners.

Archaeological Collections Consortium (ACC)

The Archaeological Collections Consortium (ACC) is an organization comprised of members representing three of the leading professional organizations of archaeologists practicing within the United States: the Society for American Archaeology (SAA), the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA), and the American Cultural Resources Association (ACRA). The mission of the ACC is to work together to address the discipline-wide challenges that impact archaeological collections. The SHA representatives on the ACC are Sara Rivers Cofield, Mark Warner, and Elizabeth Bollwerk.

Archaeological Repository Survey

The SHA Collections and Curation Committee and the Archaeological Collections Consortium are excited to announce the official release of our interactive Archaeological Curation Repository Map (links below). This ArcGIS online-supported dashboard offers quick and easy access to information about curation fees, contact information, and which repositories are accessible for research, as well as other pertinent data. If you have any questions or comments about this exciting new resource, please contact Kerry Gonzalez at

Is your repository missing? Just fill out this brief form to be included: Repository Information Form. Are you unsure if you should participate? If you curate archaeological collections, even informally, please take part! 

Collections-Based Research Survey

Fellow archaeologists and collections managers! Would you please consider participating in this quick survey to help the SHA Collections and Curation Committee gather information on collections that would be ideal for collections-based research?
Click here for survey!

The goals of the survey are 1) To identify collections that need and/or deserve collections-based research; 2) To identify major characteristics of that collection; 3) To understand the condition of that collection. 
This survey is not intended to provide all the information concerning a collection but help connect potential researchers with repositories, help refine research goals (and therefore requests), and, in the end, help repositories address collections that deserve attention. 

The survey is optional and rolling, there is no deadline to complete the survey. The survey is based on the collection and can be completed for as many collections as desired. After completing the survey, the repository does not have to do anything. It will be the responsibility of any potential collections-based researcher to reach out to the repository to discuss things further.

Things to Remember:

  • This survey is currently intended for historical collections only.
  • This survey is optional.
  • This survey is ongoing, there is no deadline.
  • This survey can be completed more than once, for as many collections as desired.
  • Please only include collections that the repository owns.

Collections-Based Research Survey Initial Results

The SHA Collections and Curation Committee and the Archaeological Collections Consortium are pleased to release the first round of data from the OMG This Collection is a Gold Mine survey. This dataset provides details on over 100 archaeological assemblages that are available for study and is meant to be utilized as a springboard for anyone interested in pursuing collections-based research for their studies. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Kerry S. Gonzalez at or

Download data here. It will be saved as a .csv file which can be opened in Excel or other open source spreadsheet programs.

Conservation FAQ

Conservation FAQs and Facts is a resource developed in 2006 by a group of conservators, some of whom were members of the SHA Collections and Curation Committee. One of the authors, Emily Williams, is still a member of the Committee, and is seeking new questions to add to this resource. If you have a conservation question and cannot find the answer in the FAQs, contact Emily Williams directly (