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RESCUEs position on long term curation of archaeological archives
I've been involved in a few link-ups with students over the years who've used stuff from sites I've worked on, in fact I've got a hit-list of stuff from old projects that could be taken further if someone's interested - the problem is linking the student/academic up with the material, luckily as a firm we've got enough links with specialists at one of the local universities that things do happen occasionally but it would be good to do it much more often.

:face-topic:However, this doesn't really take the archive issue further since no Uni in the current funding environment is likely to start taking in large volume archives however interesting
but if universities made more use of local public archives, this would go a long way to demonstrating teh value and importance of the archives....
Access and use of archives - isn't that already a requirement of every undergraduate course....?
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
Although the efforts of individual contractors and curators are important, a lot of the linking of site archives with academics comes via the EH regional science advisors who are usually respected academics in their own right. As such they provide a much needed link between the commercial and academic sectors. I only hope that after defending them from previous EH cuts they will not fall prey to the latest round as they certainly have a greater interaction with and impact on development funded excavation projects than many other EH funded positions.
I agree with Vulpes here. The EH Science Officers are the only people I can think of who regularly liaise between sectors. Few units have formal links with universities, other than those (still) based in universities. The links that do exist are likely to be private contacts between individuals - which, of course, is a system with many weaknesses - the most obvious being that if someone moves job then that link is lost and student experience and learning opportunities go with it. Furthermore there is often mutual lack of awareness of the needs and potential of the other parties - the HE people will not know what exists and what can be done with it and the units will not know of the students, their interests and abilities to navigate through archaeological records and archives. The two sectors keep moving forward but are moving away from each other. The same applies to Museums and their archives and collections. The three sectors, then, seem to co-exists but with the weakest of links between them.

The solution? We need more people like the EH Science Officers, acting as the binding material between all our different sectors. We also need people with a different outlook on our discipline as a whole. They are out there - Masters level, Heritage management and museum studies people - who are going to fall between the gaps and leave the profession when we most need them. But there is no money. We are too busy trying to prop up the crumbling building we already inhabit rather than build on a new extension. So forget I even mentioned it.

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