BAJR Federation Archaeology

Full Version: More worries about archive space.
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A survey by the Society of Museum Archaeologists (SMA) has exposed a lack of storage space and curatorial expertise in English museums dealing with archaeological archives.

Quote:The survey of 134 museums found that 36 could not accept archaeological archives because of lack of space.

It also revealed that museums in 47 local authorities were no longer collecting, while 70% of museums had no specialist archaeology curator.

SMA chairwoman Gail Boyle said: “Many of the museums that responded are local authority museums that have no statutory funding, so they are often targeted [for cuts]. It has become prevalent over time and is getting worse.

“Archaeological field units are having to store their work, as there is nowhere for them to deposit it.

The issues raised in the survey are to be the focus of the Archaeological Archives Forum in Birmingham on 7 March, which is open to anyone working within archaeology.
I can't believe this will come as a shock to anyone in the archaeological world. I spent 5 years struggling, and mostly failing, to deposit archives at the relevent museums/repositories from our vast backlog of archives created from work that the unit undertook. This problem has been going on for years and has no relation to the current government's cuts, although the spotlight on the issue is very welcome whatever the cause. I have a number of ideas of how things could be eased - I wouldn't dare to presume a cure- but having voiced these to many, in repositories and units alike, and being shocked by their arguments I know that nothing will ever change as to enable that attitudes of those involved need to change and therein lies the problem.
YEE Gods..I wrote a positioning paper on this for the Northern Ireland Roads Service five or six years ago..I fear they are still paying dig Units a monthly storage fee after almost ten years...
I understand there is a one day conference on Thursday to try and establish a framework for archaeological archives, who and where and may be the seed that is needed to get this tree to grow and prosper.....I think it's an open meeting, so anyone in the vicinity of Birmingham can attend
talking, meetings, talking more talking more meetings. we have known the problem for over a decade. Problem is no one is willing to take the lead and do what is needed to rectify this issue
If the museums want archaeologists archives then they should buy them: there are many examples where when a museum wants something it goes and finds funding to buy the objects, books, pictures whatever. If the museums dont want the archive let the archaeologists do what ever they like with the archive, context sheets, pictures, like throw them away, put them on ebay, keep them or not even pick it up or record it in the field. Museums buying archaeological archives shows that they care and that they think that the public should "care" (that there is a demand for it that might lead to its future preservation).

What we should be asking as archaeologists is why the fcuk should museums just take what ever we think they should. When ever I have put things in teh museum I never have the oh they were realy thankful that they have got it. Not one thing to my knowledge has ever made it on to their front mantel piece. (If it had i presumably would be scathing about not being paid). The only reason that I ever put my archive there is that the curators told me to. Why did they do that? I bet its something to do with jobs worth.
Would our friend Beasley, care to say a little bit more. More government money solve your problem