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Highlighted by RESCUE (thanks Giles)

This document is a look at the protection and preservation of Contractor Archives if they find themselves in a position where hey must close. It may be hard to deal with this, but deal with it we must. I also think about the archive status of my own company...

Quote:1. Introduction

1.1 This document is a report on a project entitled Assessment of Archaeological Collecting
sponsored by Renaissance Yorkshire. Renaissance is the Museum, Library and Archive
Council’s ground-breaking programme to transform England’s regional museums. The project
has been undertaken by Patrick Ottaway (PJO Archaeology). PJO Archaeology is an
independent consultancy based in York, but working throughout the UK, which provides
expert advice on archaeology and heritage matters to commercial developers and public
bodies.

1.2 The project was set up to assess the capacity of museums in the Yorkshire and Humber
region to deal with the financial and managerial pressures resulting from closure of
archaeological contractors who are unable to fulfil their obligation to contribute to the long-
term preservation of their archaeological archives. It also makes some recommendations for
intervention to address current problems. This assessment has involved consultation of key
stakeholders involved in both the creation and management of archaeological archives.

1.3 The project was prompted by the closure of the ARCUS archaeological contractor based at
the University of Sheffield (see Section 5 below). This led to some urgent decisions about its
archive, some of which has been deposited at Clifton Park Museum Rotherham whilst other
material is destined for Museums Sheffield, although it is unable to take it at present.

1.4 The case serves as an example of the impact a closure can have on museum resources in
the region. In an economic recession, such as that of 2008-10, museums acting as
archaeological depositories may be exposed to an increased risk of being asked to accept
archives in similar circumstances.
Assessment of Archaeological Collecting Renaissance Yorkshire 2010


P. Ottoway
Read on

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I guess it'll be back to the good old days of victorian archaeology where we only keep what we think is important and chuck away all that stuff that future archaeologists want.
Just the whole pots then....
....actually to be fair I spent quite a lot of yesterday afternoon swearing because some soil sample residues from a project over 10 years ago had been discarded on the basis of the specialist saying at the time that they weren't very interesting, but now, today, I would have been very interested in them....:face-crying:
that is very good point - there are often backlogs of sample material...or if not, often because of a fear of acquiring said backlog....this can contain very interesting info that only becomes of interest some time later....it is also a logistical nightmare in terms of storage,.... and very hard to argue for it terms of intrinsic 'value'......