Archaeological archives are an essential element of the archaeological resource. That mass of collected paper, drawings, photographs, objects and digital data, is a resource that enables not only the reinterpretation of original finds but also provides the raw material for further research, informs museum displays and teaching collections and gives every member of our society access to the evidence for our shared past.’ (Archaeological Resources in Cultural Heritage: a European Standard 2012).
The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), paragraph 205, states that “Local planning authorities should require developers to record and advance understanding of the significance of any heritage assets to be lost (wholly or in part) in a manner proportionate to their importance and the impact, and to make this evidence (and any archive generated) publicly accessible.”
An archaeological archive consists of all parts of the archaeological record obtained from a site including the written, drawn and photographic records as well as finds and digital records.
At ARS Ltd we are able to provide our clients with consistent and logical archives from a variety of fieldwork projects. We adhere to national and local policies and guidance for post-excavation archiving, and liaise with museums regarding their specific deposition guidelines. For the submission of digital archives, ARS Ltd is a registered contractor on the OASIS system with the Archaeological Data Service (ADS). We offer a full archiving service for all sites and projects that we deal with, but we are also adept in preparing archives for legacy sites that may have been dealt with by other organisations in order to assist clients in discharging their planning requirements and conditions. Our highly organised approach, readily available facilities and ability to provide temporary storage in advance of museum deposition means that we can offer competitive prices for providing a partial or complete archiving service. Please do not hesitate to contact us for a no-obligation discussion or advice.
Useful Links and Guidance:
CIfA (2014) Standard and Guidance for the creation, compilation, transfer and deposition of archaeological archives.
Museums & Galleries Commission. 1992. Standards in the Museum Care of Archaeological Collections.
Society of Museum Archaeologists. 1993. Selection, Retention and Dispersal of Archaeological Collections. Guidelines for use in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Brown, D. 2007. Archaeological Archives: A guide to best practice in creation, compilation, transfer and curation.