Giselle Rahn’s SMP describes the results of her comprehensive survey of archaeological collections policies across the nation. Rahn contacted the nation’s State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices to document how states and tribes manage their archaeological collections. Using written questionnaires and ongoing follow-up, Rahn achieved a high response rate. Her research found that archaeological collections are managed in one of two ways: either very well, or not well at all. Further, the investment in archaeological collections management did not seem to correlate with a state’s wealth, geographical location, or political leaning (red versus blue state, as measured in the 2004 presidential election). Rahn recently presented the results of her research at the annual Council for Northeast Historical Archaeology meetings held in St. Mary’s City.
Archaeological collections management is a growing field. More and more Federal, state, and tribal agencies are taking responsibility for the collections in their custody. In Maryland, archaeological collections are curated at the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory right here in southern Maryland. Click here for more information on the MAC Lab, its programs, and how you can get involved.
Interested in learning more about archaeological collections policies and the results of Rahn’s research? Rahn’s SMP is available in the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Archives (contact Kat Ryner at firstname.lastname@example.org).