Archaeologists are ethically bound to Principles developed by both the Society for American Archaeology and the Register for Professional Archaeologists, among others. We are always happy to look at your collections, and we will give you our honest opinions concerning their age and potential cultural affiliation, but we will never give you a number. We believe that the true value of archaeological collections is found in their ability to contribute to our knowledge about past peoples and ourselves as humans in a global society.
Can I donate my collections?
We will occasionally accept donations from the public, when they fit our Mission and our Scope of Collections. We are sorry, but we will not accept collections that contain human remains.
When donating collections please be aware that even when we accept a collection, we retain the right to discard certain elements for the purposes of education (for example, to add to our teaching collections) when necessary. Collections that contain many duplicates of items with little research value might be subject to this pre-accession discard process.
Can I do research in your archives?
We accept researchers from other universities (including graduate students, but not undergraduate students working independently), academic institutions and affiliates, and private organizations. Our process requires the completion of a research proposal and an approval to do research six months in advance of beginning your project. Destructive analysis requires additional permissions.
We have a no exceptions policy regarding collections research without completing our application in the required timeframe.