Welcome to Sustainable Archaeology's online guide for collections management and transfer procedures.
These procedures and standards of collection management ensure that all collections transferred to, held, and managed by Sustainable Archaeology can be effectively and efficiently cared for over the long term. It is critical that all collections entering the facility either adhere to the same requirements for processing, packaging, documentation, and curation, or can be processed and repurposed to meet those requirements. Likewise, Sustainable Archaeology provides standards to be met for accepting digital datasets, in order to ensure the long term viability and preservation of this digital data.
These procedures are primarily intended to provide direction to transferees with respect to proposing a collection for transfer, preparing those collections for transfer, and the fee schedules for transferring collections.
These procedures derive from and are shaped by Sustainable Archaeology's Mission Statement, Aims, and Operational Policies. Transferees and users of Sustainable Archaeology should be familiar with these documents, as they will provide much of the background information for commonly asked questions.
For Sustainable Archaeology's Mission Statement and Aims, click here.
For Sustainable Archaeology's Operational Policies, click here.
Sustainable Archaeology is dedicated to advancing a transformative practice of archaeology that integrates the many forms of the discipline - commercial, academic, avocational - by consolidating the extensively recovered archaeological record from a region of the world and converting that material and contextual data into broadly accessible and integrated digital information. This compiled and converted record will allow for ongoing and innovative research advancing the knowledge, conception, appreciation, and engagement of this compiled and rich archaeological heritage left by the countless previous generations of those who loved, lived, and died in this place, by all those today who draw awareness, meaning, value, and identity from the human heritage of this place.
Sustainable Archaeology aims to ensure that the continually amassed record of archaeological practice is fully accessible and continually used to undertake innovative research that advances our understanding of this archaeological heritage. Sustainable Archaeology also advances a transformative practice that recognizes, facilitates, and is responsive to the broader relevance archaeology must have in valuing our collective past and heritage in Ontario and Canadian society today. This is how archaeological practice, long term, becomes viable, valuable, relevant and, ultimately, sustainable.
Sustainable Archaeology aims to ensure that First Nations and Descendant communities are integral partners in the operation of Sustainable Archaeology. Sustainable Archaeology is committed to collaboration with these communities in order to ensure that decisions regarding the use, care and management of collections are consistent with both archaeological and Descendant community values. Sustainable Archaeology maintains an Advisory board, with members representing a broad spectrum of archaeological interests and representatives of Descendant communities. The role of this board is to provide direction to Sustainable Archaeology on matters related to the good care, accessibility, research, and documentation of Ontario's rich archaeological heritage.
Sustainable Archaeology aims to ensure that its Informational Platform contains the compiled digital record of the artifacts, remains, contexts and features documented through the survey and excavation of archaeological sites primarily from the Province of Ontario. This documentation arises from the fieldwork undertaken and reports generated by licensed archaeologists who have transferred collections to this facility. Collections formerly held by private individuals or museums are also held at Sustainable Archaeology.
Sustainable Archaeology aims to ensure that all collections, and the digital information generated through conversion, are fully accessible for research or public information purposes. However, some particular classes of artifact may be considered to contain culturally sensitive information, as identified by Sustainable Archaeology's Advisory Board. In those specific circumstances a person seeking access to culturally sensitive object data will need to provide a Request to Access form, which will be reviewed by the Advisory Board.
Sustainable Archaeology relies on the following policy statements to inform operations and decision making. The policies set general level expectations of operation and procedure. Details are provided in Sustainable Archaeology's Procedures and Policies, as well as the various forms facilitating transfers, access, and use of Sustainable Archaeology's Informational Platform. Transferees, users, and visitors should ensure they are familiar with these policies:
A central aim of Sustainable Archaeology is the consolidation of archaeological collections primarily from Ontario, in order to integrate and make available that compiled record for research, education and cultural purposes. To achieve this aim, Sustainable Archaeology seeks collections from present and past field activities, in particular the extensive collections of commercial consultant fieldwork, often referred to as Cultural Resource Management (CRM) or Archaeological Resource Management, as this applied form of practice represents the most extensive type of archaeology - and greatest contributor of new collections - ongoing today.
Transferring collections to Sustainable Archaeology ensures that the work of the investigating field archaeologist/research institution/government agency/commercial firm/First Nation will contribute directly to the accessible record of Ontario's archaeological heritage. This accessible record is made available for research, cultural heritage, and educational purposes, allowing advancements in and appreciation of our understanding of Ontario archaeology to be built from those compiled, transferred collections and related documentation. In addition, by overtly making accessible the results of CRM documentation, Sustainable Archaeology provides transferees, clients and regulatory agencies with the tangible justification to the cost and value in preserving the archaeological record from development impact, by ensuring that this documented record sustains ongoing research into the past. Transferring collections to Sustainable Archaeology also ensures for the long term care, tracking and preservation of those objects and documents generated during fieldwork, while alleviating the transferee of the ongoing statutory obligation and cost of maintaining and caring for those collections.
"Transferring a collection to Sustainable Archaeology" typically will refer to a transferee transferring one or more boxes containing archaeological objects and remains, along with associated field records, images, reporting, and other relevant documentation related to the contextual recording and recovery of that material. A "collection" can consist of materials recovered from a single site location, or the assembled materials and documentation from many site locations. Likewise, the collection may relate to a single project or field season, or consist of many individual projects (or stages of a project), or is a collection of material amassed over several field seasons from a specific locale. The particulars of the transfer will be reflected in the Collection Transfer Agreement between the transferee and Sustainable Archaeology, confirming the materials and documentation needed for the transfer to proceed.
At the time of proposing to transfer a collection to Sustainable Archaeology, a prospective transferee will be proposing to transfer one of two types of collection: either a Legacy Collection, or an Anticipated Collection.
An Anticipated Collection is one where the transferee is anticipating generating a collection as a result of planned fieldwork, either already scheduled and budgeted for, or subject to being successfully awarded the project. In those cases, the proposed transfer will estimate the number of Sustainable Archaeology storage boxes the resulting fieldwork will generate, with processing, transfer and long term care costs all accommodated and accounted for in the budgeting of the undertaking.
A Legacy Collection is one that already exists due to past field or artifact collecting activities. These may or may not be collections already processed to Sustainable Archaeology standards, and may in fact still require extensive processing work, re-sorting and re-packaging in order to meet Sustainable Archaeology standards and to be incorporated into the Repository and Informational Platform. It will also be the case, as a Legacy Collection, that the costs for processing and ongoing long term care tied to transferring the collection to Sustainable Archaeology cannot be recovered as part of anticipatory project budgeting.
Sustainable Archaeology receives collections from research, commercial, and avocational archaeologists, public institutions, companies, regulatory agencies, and Descendant communities. Private collector holdings may also be considered provided that contextual information and the ongoing research value of those collections is evident.
Transferees will typically fall within one of two categories: Continuing Contributors or One-Time Contributors. One-Time Contributors are transferees who propose transferring a specific collection of material and records, regardless of size. Transfers from such transferees will generally be of Legacy Collections, and may not or may only partially be prepared to Sustainable Archaeology standards. Continuing Contributors are transferees who more typically are continuously making transfers to Sustainable Archaeology. Such transferees are usually partnered with Sustainable Archaeology, which allows those transferees to input collections data directly into the Sustainable Archaeology Informational Platform as part of their normal process of analysing and reporting on newly made collections. Likewise Continuing Contributors will be packaging collections to Sustainable Archaeology standards, and providing digital information in Sustainable Archaeology formats, for both Legacy and Anticipatory Collections. Typically Continuing Contributors will be from the Commercial Consultant sector, or a development or regulatory agency.
All prospective transferees will need to create a profile with Sustainable Archaeology on our Transfree Profile page, which will generate a unique transferee designation and profile within the Sustainable Archaeology Informational Platform, one that will be assigned to every collection transfered to Sustainable Archaeology by that distinct transferee. As such, it is important for transferees to be certain how they wish to be identified by Sustainable Archaeology, especially if they anticipate making multiple transfers. For some transferees, a personal identity will be preferred, while for others an institutional or corporate affiliation will be more appropriate. For institutional or corporate transferees it will be critical that the authorized representative making the transfer to Sustainable Archaeology can confirm that the individual who created the collection under their license has consented to the transfer, and that the transfer is in accordance with Ministry notification provisions. All prospective transferees will need to generate a Transfree Profile prior to Sustainable Archaeology being able to accept their collections.
The Collection Transfer Agreement that a transferee enters into with Sustainable Archaeology stipulates the terms and conditions of the transfer, and provides Sustainable Archaeology with the consent to incorporate the collection and associated documentation into the Informational Platform, and provide broad access to that collection and information. Every collection transfer requires a Collection Transfer Agreement , and no transfer can occur without that agreement being entered into with the transferee - either a duly authorized representative of the institution making the transfer, individual archaeologist directly transferring a collection made under their license, or individual transferring a personal collection.
All transferees transfer over the care and accessibility responsibilities for a designated collection to Sustainable Archaeology. For collections generated under license, this transfer facilitates the transferring of a collection to a public institution as provided for under the terms and conditions of that license.
The Collection Transfer Agreement facilitates the transfer by providing the Transferee with:
The Collection Transfer Agreement facilitates the transfer by providing Sustainable Archaeology with:
How does a transferee go about transferring a collection to Sustainable Archaeology? In the first instance, we recommend new prospective transferees contact the Sustainable Archaeology Manager or Director in order to review the particulars of the transfer being contemplated. This will lead to a discussion of Sustainable Archaeology expectations and needs, the nature and current condition of the collection, and generally will help the prospective transferee determine whether transferring to the facility is the right option for them.
Following that discussion, the prospective transferee will be asked to create a Transferee Profile on the Sustainable Archaeology website, and fill in a Collection Transfer Request form. This form will detail the specific collection(s) that are to be part of a proposed transfer, size and condition of the collection, and whether the collection is a Legacy or Anticipated Collection. This will allow Sustainable Archaeology to estimate the fees for the collection, as well as any fees for archiving digital data, possible collections processing fees, and proposed date of transfer.
Continuing Contributors will be familiar with Sustainable Archaeology expectations and needs, as well as our procedures and standards, and thus will directly submit a Collection Transfer Request to initiate the transfer process.
For further information about the processes associated with transferring collections please go to Sustainable Archaeology Procedures and Standards for Transferring Collections
Collections transferred to Sustainable Archaeology are subject to a one-time box fee. This fee has been calculated based on the facility's standard box size of 15" wide x 12" deep x 10" high and containing no more than 30 lbs. or 13.6 kg of content. This fee is charged to assist in the integration of the collection and documentation into the Sustainable Archaeology repository and digital Informational Platform, and to ensure the long term costs of operating the facility are covered, in order to provide ongoing access and ongoing care for the collections housed at the facility.
The one-time per box fee is variable and based on the assumption that there has been adherence to general processing procedures and standards for artifacts and documents set forth in this document. Additional fees are charged per gigabyte (Gb) of digital data to be archived as part of the collection. For some Legacy Collections where processing and digitization of information is substantial and labour intensive, that work can be undertaken by Sustainable Archaeology on behalf of - and at the cost of - the transferee. Calculating the length of time required to process such a collection, as well as the labour and materials needed for processing, is determined on a per box estimate during discussions between the prospective transferee and Sustainable Archaeology staff. These processing fees are due at the same time the transfer fee is due, or over a defined project timeline, in cases where processing will be an ongoing and long term requirement.
An invoice will be issued at the time the Collection Transfer Agreement is signed. Unless otherwise stipulated, payment is due at the time the collection is delivered to the Sustainable Archaeology facility.
The following are the 2014 fee schedules for Sustainable Archaeology (exclusive of HST):
For Anticipatory Collections (i.e., for budgeting the long term care of collections and associated documentation for planned field projects), it is assumed these collections will be generated by Continuing Contributor Transferees undertaking primarily CRM projects. Such transferees will be documenting and packaging their collections to Sustainable Archaeology standards and procedures, including using Sustainable Archaeology archival quality storage boxes and bags. This would also include using the Sustainable Archaeology Informational Platform to generate catalogues and other analytical data for the purposes of reporting.
Per Sustainable Archaeology Storage Box: $400
(15" wide by 12" deep by 10" high; to a maximum weight of 30 lbs./ 13.6 kg)
Note: box fee is for the footprint per box added to the Repository. Partially full boxes thus will still need to be charged at a per box fee.
Note: Should a transferee choose not to process an Anticipatory Collection to Sustainable Archaeology procedures and standards before transfer, the per box fee will be: $900.
For Legacy Collections it is assumed these collections represent materials amassed at some point in the past, that they will require some or a great deal of work to process to Sustainable Archaeology standards, and that there are limited available funds for facilitating the transfer to Sustainable Archaeology. It is also assumed that, for such collections coming from Continuing Contributors who are working to Sustainable Archaeology procedures and standards and have the capacity to directly input data into the Informational Platform, they will be able to undertake the processing and repackaging of collections directly. As well, in some circumstances it is assumed contributors will be able to undertake some re-packaging and digitization prior to transfer, while other Legacy Collections will need to be transferred without meeting any Sustainable Archaeology procedures and standards. As such, Sustainable Archaeology employs a sliding scale for per box fees that reflects the condition of the collection at transfer, and the degree to which Sustainable Archaeology staff will need to process, repackage, and digitize the transferred collection.
Per Box Fee Scale for Legacy Collections
(15" wide by 12" deep by 10" high, to maximum weight of 30 lbs.; partial boxes charged at per box fee)
|Legacy Collection Category||Per Box Fee for Legacy Collections||Basis for Pricing|
|Legacy Collection Ready to Transfer||$150||For collections where information has been directly inputted by transferee into the SA Informational Platform, collections have been packaged using Sustainable Archaeology procedures, standards and materials (e.g., boxes, bags, etc.). In effect these collections are being transferred as ready for immediate integration and 3D digital image recording|
|Legacy Collection Requiring Processing||$400||Fee set per box for collections not already inputted into the Informational Platform but where digital data is ready to be converted for the purpose, and where collections may require limited re-packaging into SA-sized boxes, re-labelling of bags, or other minimal processing time|
|Legacy Collection Requiring Rehabilitation||$675||Fee set per box where collections require full re-bagging and re-boxing into archival quality storage containers, transcription of label information, digitization of basic datasets, artifact identification, etc. Typically older legacy collections requiring complete conversion and generation of digital data will fall into this category|
When discussions between the transferee and Sustainable Archaeology confirm that there will be a need to process a collection - which will range from repackaging, to digital conversion of paper records, to inputting collection data into the Informational Platform - and the transferee is unable to undertake the processing themselves prior to transfer, Sustainable Archaeology may agree to accept the transfer as long as the costs for processing will be provided along with the collection.
A single box of a collection that has been mostly sorted and packaged to Sustainable Archaeology standards and procedures, or a collection where digital catalogue information readily fits into the Sustainable Archaeology Informational Platform, may take as little as 1-2 hours to process. On the other hand a box of a Legacy Collection that has not been processed and still consists of paper or plastic bags without digital label or catalogue data, can take from 6-8 hours to process. In reviewing the collection to be transferred, the transferee and Sustainable Archaeology staff will work to determine an estimate of the processing fees to be applied in addition to the per box transfer fee.
The Digital Data Archiving Fee is $30 per gigabyte of data.
All collections will be accompanied by digital data, including catalogues, images and maps, digital field datasets, field activity and other reports. At Sustainable Archaeology all document datasets will be preserved and archived digitally, not in paper format. Maintaining this digital archive on the Informational Platform requires dedicated space, keeping on top of file formats, and converting and migrating digital data as required. At the time of establishing the box size of a collection to be transferred to Sustainable Archaeology, a transferee will also estimate the size of the digital data to be transferred to determine the digital archiving fee. Note: if there is a need to digitize a substantial collection of paper copy records, an additional processing fee to enable the digitization would be applied.
For further information about the transfer of digital data and associated records to Sustainable Archaeology, please click here.
Sustainable Archaeology maintains a wide range of lab and field equipment to generate digital data about archaeological sites and collections. Subject to availability, these are also available for collaborator and non-collaborator use, though some of the specialised pieces of equipment require trained Sustainable Archaeology personnel or similarly trained individuals to operate, or to interpret the results. Fees reflect either Collaborator (directly partnered with Sustainable Archaeology/undertaken by affiliated researchers) or Non-Collaborator rates.
Collaborator rates are available upon request. Please contact Sustainable Archaeology for more information.
Any interest in using these services should be directed to the appropriate individual identified. General queries can be directed to the Sustainable Archaeology Manager.
Specialised Equipment/Services Available Through Sustainable Archaeology
Note: Requires Trained Operator. Contact Ed Eastaugh, Western Dept of Anthropology Geophys Technician (firstname.lastname@example.org) for his rates, project availability and data interpretation
|Please contact the facility for fee rates.|
(note: to a maximum of 3 days charge)
Mobilization fees will be waived for projects of a 5 day or longer duration
|Please contact the facility for fee rates.|
3D Laser Scanning of Objects
Note: Sustainable Archaeology personnel undertake scans, or can recommend a technician upon request
Object Scanning: Please contact the facility for fee rates.
Rendering point cloud: Please contact the facility for fee rates.
Note: Sustainable Archaeology personnel print objects
Please contact the facility for fee rates.
Note: Requires Trained Operator. Contact the Sustainable Archaeology Facility Manager for further information.
Please contact the facility for fee rates.
Post scan data manipulation: Review with Trained Operator
Note: Requires Trained Operator. Contact the Sustainable Archaeology Facility Manager for further information.
Please contact the facility for fee rates.
Post scan data manipulation: Review with Trained Operator
Soil Flotation Machine
Self-contained and water recycling. Requires access to running water for initial fill, and electricity.
$100/day, plus technician fee where applicable. Sustainable Archaeology can recommend a technician upon request.
|Sustainable Archaeology Specialized Workstations, Meeting Space Rental|
Note: Confirm availability with Sustainable Archaeology Manager
|Please contact the facility for fee rates.|
Note: Confirm availability with Sustainable Archaeology Manager
|Please contact the facility for fee rates.|
Sustainable Archaeology's fee structure is designed to establish the capacity for the facility to be self-sufficient over the long term by supporting the ongoing costs related to collections management and preservation, facility and equipment maintenance, and personnel costs. This limits the ability of Sustainable Archaeology to accept pro bono transfers where the costs of processing, repackaging, digitizing, and long term storage are borne by the facility itself.
Nonetheless, Sustainable Archaeology also recognises that the importance of a collection to the ongoing advancement of archaeological knowledge may warrant accepting such transfers. Likewise, recognizing the life efforts of a pioneering archaeologist or community towards advancing our understanding of Ontario's archaeological heritage may also warrant accepting a collection without supporting costs. The degree to which this is possible is constrained by Sustainable Archaeology's capacity and ability to remain in operation. Decisions regarding waiving fees will arise from discussions between the prospective transferee and the Sustainable Archaeology Director, in consultation with the Sustainable Archaeology Advisory Board.
In order to be integrated into the Repository and Informational Platform, collections transferred to Sustainable Archaeology will need to adhere to our procedures and standards for packaging objects, materials and associated records, and for recording information about those collections. Adherence to these procedures and standards is essential to ensure the collection contents and collection information can be effectively tracked and managed across the Repository facilities, and to ensure collections are stabilized and preserved to achieve long term care. This work must be done, and information inputted to Sustainable Archaeology's Informational Platform, for ALL collections held in the repository. If a transferred collection does not or only partially adheres to these procedures and standards prior to transfer, that work will have to be completed by Sustainable Archaeology staff, and the transfer may be subject to additional processing fees in order to complete the work (for Sustainable Archaeology Fee Schedules, please click here.
Ensuring for the long term care and preservation of archaeological collections, and maintaining the integrity of the information about those collections, are critical goals of practice all archaeologists follow. And as every archaeologist knows, this process begins in the field at the moment of recovery and recording, carries through to lab processing, analysis and cataloguing of that material, linking field data with object data, and continues with the proper packaging of objects, their contextual data, and the containers housing that material. There is no end to maintaining collection viability and integrity, either, as collection care requires perpetually insuring that the long term storage facility remains secure, that objects, labels and records are stable and not decaying, and that digital data is continually migrated into viable formats over time as required. These efforts ultimately pass on to the next generation of archaeologists, and represent a key, critical ongoing responsibility that arises from excavating and documenting the archaeological record, to ensure that those initial field efforts continue to contribute to ongoing research long past the date of initial recovery.
The collections procedures and standards developed by Sustainable Archaeology are intended to sustain the long term care and information preservation begun at the time of discovery. In developing these procedures and standards, Sustainable Archaeology sought to merge current practices in Ontario, as well as standards reflected widely at research centres, repositories, museums, and conservation institutions that have extensive experience managing and caring for large, amassed collections. The intent is to adopt procedures that are in line with best practices, effectively serve the need of archaeologists interacting with archaeological sites and materials on a daily basis, and heeds the direction for the management of archaeological collections laid out by the Province of Ontario
These collection processing procedures and standards also facilitate the needs of Sustainable Archaeology to provide ongoing direct and online access to the amassed holdings in the Repository, while providing for the level of control needed to ensure effective and full tracking of these materials held in-trust. These procedures and standards also aid in alleviating the otherwise substantial efforts needed during the intake stage at Sustainable Archaeology to input collection information. The intent is to ensure the capture of complete data complexity of individual or groups of artifacts at the bag level, therefore allowing data entry personnel to efficiently and quickly work through boxes of material, and incorporate that data into the Informational Platform.
Every archaeologist follows variable but generally similar procedures during the processing, cataloguing, analysis, and packaging of a collection. The decisions made during those stages play a key role in the subsequent effectiveness of long term preservation, and will influence the type and value of information that can be gathered from the collection to sustain novel research. For many Legacy Collections these stages have long been completed, and procedures and standards for those collections are more about re-packaging and repurposing existing catalogue and label data, and stopping the decline of collection integrity. For newly created collections, the following advice is offered to help inform use of procedures during lab processing to assist in ensuring long term preservation of artifact collections.
The first step in processing artifacts coming out of the field is to clean them, in order to properly expose surfaces for analysis, and to remove any residues that, if left long term with the artifact or in a bag of artifacts, can cause degradation. Cleaning usually entails removal of soil and other residues adhering to the artifacts, and traditionally this has consisted of immersing artifacts in a water bath and scrubbing them with a soft or hard brush. Unfortunately, such methods can also remove important residues and other critical data essential to micro-analyses and other studies. Wet washing with a stiff brush can alter the surface of softer artifact classes, such as Aboriginal ceramics, bone, and shell, causing striations in the piece and eroding or masking shallow incising, body treatments, body surface topography, and other important analytical variables.
As cleaning is an irreversible treatment, the nature, condition, and analytical potential of each artifact and class of artifact needs to be considered prior to the selection of a cleaning method. Robust and stable stone, glass, glazed ceramics, some bone, and some Aboriginal ceramics that can withstand exposure to water can be gently spot washed with a very soft brush or sponge. Wet cleaning by full immersion should be restricted to stable glazed ceramics, glass, and stone from dry or slightly damp in-site soil contexts only. Metals, unstable bone, friable Aboriginal ceramics, horn, tortoiseshell, and shell should not be exposed to water, and should be dry brushed only. Any other material suspected to be too fragile to withstand exposure to water should also be dry brushed
While artifacts that can be cleaned of adhering soils and harmful residues need to be cleaned before packaging, exceptions are necessary for artifacts too fragile to be cleaned, or where residues need to be preserved. For example, ceramic vessel interiors, blade edges of stone cutting or scraping tools, painted or dyed objects, and the contact surfaces of mortar and pestles, are just some of the examples of artifacts where preservation without cleaning ensures the possibility of future detailed residue and microscopic research. In the case where artifacts are not cleaned, they will need to be bagged separately from cleaned materials and artifacts.
Critically, artifacts subjected to a wet wash, or soil residues from soil flotation, must be dried completely before bagging in order to avoid damp rot or mould growth in storage. Even unwashed items, especially porous materials such as ceramic, bone, etc., will retain moisture from their time in the ground, so must be allowed to fully dry before bagging. Artifacts should be laid out and allowed to dry naturally away from direct sources of heat (e.g. direct sunlight, radiator, or space heater).
Whether left without being cleaned, or cleaned by whatever method, it is important to record the cleaning and other post-recovery processing treatments carried out for an object or group of artifacts.
This will assist future researchers in understanding how cleaning methods have or have not altered the object, and will allow Sustainable Archaeology staff to flag any possible issues with long term care.
Some materials and artifacts are prone to active decay immediately upon recovery, including many metals and organic materials such as bone and shell. Objects that cannot be stabilized without a continuous, specialized storage environment (e.g. wet or freezer storage) are beyond the scope of Sustainable Archaeology to curate.
Other materials, including actively corroding metals, will require stabilization, such as placing the object in an air-tight container along with a supply of oxygen absorbers. While Sustainable Archaeology can undertake these basic stabilization procedures, objects requiring such treatment need to be identified upfront so that staff can take appropriate measures during incorporation of the collection into the Repository. Other materials, for example organics such as basketry or wood or fast corroding metal, bone, or shell, typically require full conservation. As such measures are beyond our ability to undertake, that work will need to be completed prior to the material being transferred to Sustainable Archaeology.
When seeking to undertake a conservation treatment, bear in mind that any treatments, particularly those that require the use of chemicals or adhesives, should be reversible if at all possible. They should in no way cause further damage or destabilize the integrity of the artifact. All conservation tools, materials and techniques need to be recorded, including the name, grade, and concentration of any chemicals or other products used, since the presence of such products may affect future analyses or long-term preservation of the artifacts in question.
Note: Sustainable Archaeology has prepared a detailed best practices guide for cleaning, conservation, and packaging artifact collections. Please click here for further information.
Any sampling, re-interment, or discard of materials prior to transfer should be recorded in the collection records, detailing the material discarded, as well as any relevant provenience data.
While reconstruction of artifacts such as ceramic vessels are often conducted during initial analysis of a collection, at Sustainable Archaeology the preference is for related object fragments to be bagged together, but not reconstructed. Most adhesives and methods used to join fragments together will cause damage to the specimens, and the bulk and weight of the reconstructed object can also contribute to damage, plus makes it difficult to store or analyse. Moreover at Sustainable Archaeology fragments can be digitized and mended virtually, and a prototype can be printed from that model, eliminating the need to physically mend artifacts to see the reconstructed whole.
All materials used at Sustainable Archaeology to stabilize, house and label collections must be stable, inert, archival quality materials that are acid free and non-off gassing. The following outlines the materials used at Sustainable Archaeology:
Boxes: Acid-free, corrugated polypropylene "bankers" style boxes. Cardboard, wood or rigid plastic alternatives are not viable. The boxes used at Sustainable Archaeology are of a customized size and assembly in order to fit our shelving (15" wide x 12" deep x 10" high - 1.0416 ft3) and for ease of handling. Other sized boxes, separate lidded boxes, or one piece boxes without inset handles, cannot be accommodated. Sustainable Archaeology boxes can be obtained directly from Sustainable Archaeology on a cost recovery basis ($7 per box). Alternatively, for large or continual transfers, transferees can be provided with the specifications of the box design, in order to shop out their own supply from Sustainable Archaeology's vendor or another company.
Bags: Sustainable Archaeology uses archival grade, acid-free, self-closing polyethylene bags that are 2-mil grade and 4-mil grade in thickness. Sustainable Archaeology utilizes a number of different sized polyethylene bags for individual and batch artifact storage. All bags used by Sustainable Archaeology are polyvinylchloride (PVC) free. Fragile artifacts contained within sealed polyethylene bags may be double-bagged in polyfoam bags for an extra layer of padding / protection. Paper, cloth or off-gassing plastics are not used at Sustainable Archaeology.
Packing Foam: Archival grade, stable, non-off-gassing foams of a polyethylene or polyethylene-polypropylene blend of a variety of densities and thicknesses are used by Sustainable Archaeology depending on the level of protection/padding required. Thin foams are used to bulk fragile materials, or as a buffer between bags of artifacts, while thicker cut foams are used to provide support for larger items, such as re-constructed ceramic pots, or cut out to hold sacred items in lockable specimen storage. Foams used by Sustainable Archaeology are nitrogen blown. Solvent blown foams, as well as polyurethane or urethane foams are not viable.
Packing Tissue: Archival grade, acid-free tissue is used to support, bulk, and cushion archaeological materials. Dyed or perfumed tissues, facial tissue, newspaper or inked paper, envelopes, or other paper products are not viable.
Vials: Low density, inert polypropylene vials with snap-closure lids are used for the storage of small and/or delicate materials. Gel-based capsules and glass vials are not viable.
Aluminum Foil: Foil is used for the packaging of carbonized plant remains for future radio carbon dating. Samples wrapped in aluminum foil packs should be contained within a sealed polyethylene bag to prevent the loss of material, with a detailed inventory of the pouch contents, so there is no need to re-open the foil pouch.
Acrylic Resins: Acrylic resins are used for affixing a catalogue or accession number directly on an artifact. This resin does not yellow with age and is removable with a solvent. Acryloid B-72 (Paraloid B-72) grade resin is used by Sustainable Archaeology. Nail polish, label adhesives, and flammable materials are not viable.
Oxygen Absorbers: Oxygen absorbers (also called "scrubbers" or "scavengers") are used to eradicate oxygen in a container. These absorbers are primarily used for metal artifacts where excessive exposure to oxygen results in chemical reactions that induce corrosion. They are used in sealed micro-environments, either archival quality storage containers or layered, moisture-barrier bags.
Silica Gel: Silica gel packets are used to reduce humidity and moisture in a sealed environment. Indicating silica gel is used by Sustainable Archaeology where a desiccated environment is necessary for artifact stabilization.
Thermal Transfer Printed Labels: Labels made of inert plastic materials are used to print the data matrix (DM) codes and other labelling information affixed to artifacts and boxes.
Other packaging materials, such as paper bags, metal fasteners, unstable plastics, or any other non-inert materials that will degrade, destabilize, or cause damage to archaeological materials, are not used or accepted by Sustainable Archaeology. A full list of packaging materials that will not be used or accepted by Sustainable Archaeology is available here.
Many Legacy Collections will not be in a condition that meets these standards, and are likely to contain unstable or deteriorated packing materials, such as paper bags, flaking nail polish artifact labels, off-gassing plastics, etc. As such, these collections will require a significant repackaging effort. If this repackaging work is to be performed by Sustainable Archaeology, these collections will be subject to processing and repackaging fees in addition to per-box fees. Please refer to Sustainable Archaeology Fees for more information on box, processing and repackaging fees.
Processing legacy collections for transfer to Sustainable Archaeology may require extensive cleaning and re-packaging of materials to remove unstable artifact and packaging materials, or materials that have been contaminated by pests or molds. In order to maintain a clean, pest-free storage environment for collections, Sustainable Archaeology requires that any materials (including packaging materials) containing or suspected of containing the following contamination be removed:
Any packaging materials that have been or may have been contaminated by insects, mice, moulds, or other pests MUST be removed and replaced with clean materials- including plastic bags and artifact labels. Artifacts that have been affected by the above contamination MUST be re-packaged before entering the facility. Where necessary, artifacts should be cleaned of any and all traces of contamination prior to repackaging.
Legacy collections have previously been packaged in a wide array of packaging materials, many of which have been identified as aiding in the destabilization and deterioration of artifacts. The following packaging materials are not viable for collections housed at Sustainable Archaeology. Please refer to the section "Collection Packaging and Labelling Material " for a list of accepted packaging materials.
The following are general rules that need to be followed when packaging collections for transfer to Sustainable Archaeology:
Sustainable Archaeology divides all archaeological collections into bags for storage according to the following basic system:
Site/Location → Unit (context)→ Sub-Unit → Material Type, which can reflect many specific variations depending on collection particulars, e.g.:
Site A → Unit 5 → Level → Ceramic
Site A → Unit 5 → Level 2 → Metal
Site A → Unit 5 → Level 3 → Ceramic
Site A → Unit 2 → Ceramic
Site A → Unit 3 → Operation I → Lot B → Sublot 7 → Ceramic
Site B → Feature 23 → Ceramic
Site B → Feature 22 → North Half → Layer 2 → Ceramic
Site C → Surface → Glass
Within this hierarchy:
Below a material designation artifacts will be bagged individually or in batches of similar material from the same specific site context, depending on particular type and condition of the artifact. Diagnostic artifacts are individually identified in the database and labelled by a unique Artifact ID. Batches of less diagnostic artifacts are bagged together and identified together by a unique Artifact ID for the bag of artifacts (e.g., body sherds, debitage, unidentified faunal remains, etc.). Bagging down to individual object, especially for diagnostic or formal objects, facilitates management and accessibility in the Repository, and ensures incidental damage and degradation (e.g., damage to blade edge from several points banging together in the same bag) are minimized.
The following section outlines bagging artifacts by specific material, and identifies the level where batch bagging variability can be accommodated.
All materials must be bagged to the most specific contextual level available.
Batch Bagging Options:
Batch Bagging Options:
→ Object Type (e.g., hammerstone, fire cracked rock, etc
Batch bagging is the expected method for bagging these materials. No more than 30 pounds of fire cracked rock or rough stone can be placed in one box. Rough stone with etching or other soft materials that can be easily scratched should be bagged separately.
Batch Bagging Options for Vessel Sherds:
Batch Bagging Options for Pipe Sherds:
Batch Bagging Options forHistoric Era Manufactured Ceramic Sherds:
Batch Bagging Options for Pipe Sherds:
Batch Bagging Options for Historic Era Manufacturing Ceramic Other Objects/Fragments:
Batch Bagging Options for Identifiable Metal Objects:
Batch Bagging Options for Identifiable Metal Architectural Fasteners:
Note: batched non-diagnostic or unidentifiable metal fragments must be stable enough for long-term storage. Sustainable Archaeology will not retain bags of rusted detritus considered to have no research potential.
Batch Bagging Options for Identifiable Glass Containers:
Batch Bagging Options for Identifiable Glass Tableware:
Batch Bagging Options for Glass Beads:
Batch Bagging Options for Identifiable Glass Objects:
Batch Bagging Options for Carbonized Plant Remains (C14 Samples):
Note: Only processed and sorted soil samples are held by Sustainable Archaeology for long term storage. Soil samples must be dry.
Labelling is critical to effective management and ensuring ease of access to collections in the Sustainable Archaeology Repository. As such, labelling is designed to be detailed, redundant and secure. Labelling occurs on objects or batches of objects, on bags holding artifacts, and on boxes containing collections.
Artifact labelling is the most secure means of ensuring contextual information is not divorced from an artifact. However, direct application on an object needs to be a non-intrusive and reversible process, and the labels themselves should be inconspicuous and neatly applied. General practice is to label non-diagnostic and untreated/undecorated surface areas away from edges.
At Sustainable Archaeology, all individual artifacts or batches of artifacts are assigned a unique, randomly generated 10 digit number that serves as a unique identifier for the object, linking it to the full information about the object and its context in the Informational Platform. It is this number that is affixed to the object and replicated on the bag tag for the object. Continuing Contributors who directly input their site collection data into the Sustainable Archaeology Informational Platform will be able to generate these unique identifiers for artifact and batch artifact labelling directly.
Traditionally a "sandwich" labelling method is most commonly used to label artifacts: which consists of laying down a layer of Acryloid B72, followed by a catalogue number written in black or white India ink, and then sealed under another layer. The use of this resin ensures that the label cannot be easily smudged away, but also allows for the complete removal of the label from the artifact with a solvent if ever needed. This resin is preferred over other mediums, such as nail polish, as those peel, shrink, run, or otherwise are damaged over time. Likewise sticky labels dry and peel off over time, or leave a damaging residue on an artifact's surface.
At Sustainable Archaeology a thermal transfer printer can be used to print artifact catalogue numbers on to labels made of an inert plastic material. The printed codes are then affixed directly to the artifacts using the acrylic resin Acryloid B72. This resin is archival standard, transparent, chemically stable, and non-yellowing, and can be removed with the appropriate solvents if necessary. Currently a numbered code label, the plan is to adopt use of DM codes for this purpose, since they are less intrusive and can be as small as 3.5mm x 3.5mm in size.
In cases where an artifact designation cannot be applied directly to the object, such as when the artifact is too small, fragile, has not been washed, or is considered sacred and cannot be marked, the designation is applied to a label or tag that is placed within the container holding the object. Bagged batches of artifacts are also designated and identified in this way.
Bag labels are necessary for each bag holding an object or objects, and for larger Unit Bags holding multiple bags (e.g., the fragments of a designated vessel, multiple context-specific bagged artifacts representing an assemblage from a site, etc.). These labels will also reflected the Sustainable Archaeology system for bagging artifacts as laid out in Bagging Artifacts by Context, Material, and Type.
The remainder of this Section is still to be completed.
Sustainable Archaeology boxes are labelled at the facility. They are assigned a designation which is used for tracking box location, and confirming the contents of the Box. Labels affixed to boxes are RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags, which allow Sustainable Archaeology to track the movement and location of a specific box within and between facilities.
The curation of field, photographic, spatial and other records pertaining to archaeological fieldwork is as critical a task for the long term preservation of archaeological information as is the curation of archaeological objects. Without the preservation of these contextual records, the data value of the artifacts themselves is lost. It is therefore essential that associated records, particularly digital records, are created and maintained in a way that will ensure their future accessibility.
Sustainable Archaeology has adopted the best practice guidelines established by the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) of the United Kingdom - a world leader in setting standards for archaeological digital information management. To refer to their standards and guidelines, please visit the ADS Guides to Good Practice at http://guides.archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/.
Sustainable Archaeology curates all associated records and data in digital form only, as Sustainable Archaeology facilities do not have the physical space or the professional means to archive paper-based records and resources. Where only paper-based records exist, these will need to be digitized prior to transfer. Sustainable Archaeology can also digitize records into the informational platform of the database. Please note that digitization is subject to fee-for-service costs, and there is also a one-time per gigabyte fee for archiving digital information. For information about current fee schedules, please click here. To discuss your project and assess costs for digitization of materials, please review with the Sustainable Archaeology Manager or Director prior to submission of records for digitization. Please note that care and maintenance of any original paper documents remain the responsibility of the transferee, and all paper records will be returned to the transferee by Sustainable Archaeology after digitization is complete.
Digital documents and records that accompany artifact collection transfers to Sustainable Archaeology generally can include:
Field Project Report (License Report). All field projects lead to the generation of a report, detailing the work conducted, contextual data found and recorded, collections generated, analysed and catalogued. Typically in Ontario since 1975 these reports, or a version of them, have also served as a license report submitted to the Province in fulfillment of archaeological licensing obligations under the Ontario Heritage Act. While the Province currently seeks dis-assembled versions of these reports for their differential information management purposes, many archaeologists continue to generate complete reports for internal purposes and for clients. It is these Field Project reports, rather than the Provincial license reports, that are preferred at Sustainable Archaeology for new projects, and are typically the report available for most Legacy Collections.
Field Project Reports will be archived as text documents, and need to be submitted in PDF/A format. These digital documents require appropriate metadata information (see below) in order to associate the report with the site(s) collection(s) discussed in the report, which will need to be embedded in the file before creation of a PDF/A version.
Site Locational Record. A critical association, one that provides meaningful information for all datasets and collection information, is the spatial location of where the collection was found and generated. This locational record operates as a "dot on a map" level of association, based on a single fixed point for the object or site, or series of perimeter readings of the site and fixed locational information within that perimeter. A file consisting of a table providing accurate site locational data, or the direct digital GPS file, is required for every location that generated a collection from the field (.DOC or .XSL format). A table of one or a series of GPS readings is the preferred means of providing locational information. Acceptable alternate formats include longitude/longitude co-ordinates, or Northing/Easting measures. A digital version of the site record form filed with the Province should also be included in addition to the locational data. These digital files will require appropriate metadata catalogue information (see "Recording Metadata" below) attached to associate the file with the appropriate site collection.
Field Records. Project records or reports, including records of in-field methods, daily crew and photo lists, field journals, etc. Typically these documents are a mix of paper and digital, "diary entry format," with most being paper the further back in time the collection was generated. Most of these records are digitized in the course of analysis, or will need to be digitized to be included with the collection at Sustainable Archaeology. Converting them through OCR to be searchable .DOC files is helpful, but typically they will be archived as image files in PDF/A format. These records will require a metadata catalogue providing an inventory of the extent and nature of records provided.
Site Mapping. These records will range from perimeter maps of surface finds or edge of excavations, to topographical maps of the site or sites in a study, to total station files of artifact scatters or feature locations, to grid layouts of units and sub squares, to square plans, to features plans and profiles, post mould locational data, in situ artifact or remains sketches, etc. Site mapping can also include post excavation GIS mapping data generated for field project reports, client specific needs, or research projects. Most of these will also geo-reference (or can be geo-referenced) to a fixed point in space (datum) that allows these locational maps to be translated to a specific geographic location. These are critical for recreating spatial contexts for any further analyses of materials from the collection, and understanding spatial relationships across a site. File formats for digital mapping are variable (see below for further information). For paper versions, ideally they are digitally converted to vector based file formats in order to allow for integration of other spatial datasets and for research purposes. Raster file formats are also acceptable provided their conversion to vector format is possible. These records will require a metadata catalogue providing an inventory of the extent and nature of records provided.
Image Documentation. Photographic records in the field, or generated afterwards (photographs of artifacts, etc.) are an essential record to compliment mapping, written records and the artifacts themselves. Photo documentation should be complete, representing all stages of fieldwork carried out at a location, with particular representation of in-field contexts (feature plans and profiles, in situ artifact contexts, etc.). For older projects, images are in film or slide format only, and will need to be digitized. The digital file format preferred is uncompressed .TIFF format, since compression loses significant data and can compromise file stability through archived migrations. As such, it is recommended that a careful selection of the digital collection of images to be archived is made, to ensure unnecessary redundancies and spoilt shots are not transferred. Individual images will need image metadata tagging. These records will also require a catalogue providing an inventory of all images included.
Collection Processing Documentation. This refers to textual records related to the cleaning and/or conservation of artifacts, methods and products used.
Specialist Reports/Research Studies. Specialized studies undertaken on collections, ranging from faunal or floral analyses, radiocarbon assays, soils or materials based studies, etc., are either undertaken after field project reports are generated, or are only summarised in that report. Sustainable Archaeology archives the full reports as related to collections held in the facility. Likewise, value-added research on collections, either before or after a collection has been incorporated into Sustainable Archaeology (e.g., Student thesis or dissertation, research project or publication, etc.) is also archived by Sustainable Archaeology. Such reports and studies need to be submitted in the completed form as PDF/A files, with appropriate metadata (see below) catalogue information attached to associate the study with the appropriate site collection.
Project Documentation. Typically, background information about the project that led to the fieldwork in a commercial, CRM context is sufficiently detailed in the Field Project Report. However, in cases where specific documents will help inform the fieldwork, copies of that documentation will be appreciated. This can take the form of project development maps, project inventories, correspondence, etc.
Digital Data Inventory. This is an index of all digital files included in the transfer, file formats, size of digital datasets, etc. In effect a records catalogue, this inventory will guide Sustainable Archaeology staff as they incorporate these records within the Informational Platform, and to ensure all records are properly identified and mapped into the collections database.
Source: Archaeology Data Service. "Preparation of Files for deposit with the ADS", Version 1.3. March, 2008.
In order to successfully integrate digital data into the Sustainable Archaeology Informational Platform, and to ensure that digital materials remain accessible in the future, all digital data received by Sustainable Archaeology will be provided in file formats preferred for archiving purposes. Any file conversion necessary to meet Sustainable Archaeology requirements will be completed prior to transfer.
Please adhere to the following file formats when submitting digital data to Sustainable Archaeology:
|Data set||Preferred File Format|
|Databases||Access - MDBOpen Document Database (e.g., Sql Server) - ODBDelimited text|
|GIS||ESRI Shape file - SHP + SHX + DBFGeo-referenced TIF Image - TIF + TFW|
|Images||Uncompressed Baseline TIFF v.6 - TIFRAW format possible for contemporary digital image capture|
|Spreadsheets||CSVMicrosoft Excel - XSLOpen Document Spreadsheet - ODSOpenOffice.org Calc - SXC|
|Texts||Word - DOCOpen Document Text - ODT|
|ADOBE - PDF/A-1a or PDF/A-1b|
|CAD (Vector graphics)||AutoCAD - DWGSVG|
|Geophysical Data||Raw xyz data - TXT, CSVRendered Images - TIF|
Files that are not submitted in the preferred formats may be subject to a digitization fee to cover the time and labour costs associated with migrating data to the preferred formats.
In order for the digital data to be sustainable, digital files need to be identified and labelled in a way that allows an outsider to understand the original purpose of the dataset, as well as the relationships between datasets
To ensure preservation of digital materials, the expedient addition of this data into Sustainable Archaeology's informational platform, and to facilitate the interoperability of data sets, all digital data submitted to Sustainable Archaeology will adhere to the following guidelines (derived from the Guides to Good Practice published by the Archaeological Data Service in York, UK):
Each submission of digital material will include a basic, text, table or chart inventory of all files included in the transfer. The following data must be included in the inventory table:
This file needs to include the phrase "digital data inventory" in its name, and please ensure the word "inventory" is not used in any other file name.
Digital file naming must adhere to the following conventions:
When transferring a large number of digital files to accompany a collection to Sustainable Archaeology, it is important that they are logically sorted within a file directory and stored in folders clearly labelled so that Sustainable Archaeology staff can logically find files and load them into the Informational Platform so that they will be connected to artifact information. The following hierarchical file organization and naming conventions are set out to facilitate the navigation through and retrieval of digital datasets.
All associated data and records should be organized for transfer in a directory of folders and sub-folders. As most collections transferred to Sustainable Archaeology will consist of materials and records from a particular site, records and data should be separated and organized into sub-folders by that Site Name and Borden Number. Collections that consist of materials from a survey project or a private collection may prefer to organized by SA transfer designation number, project name, or transferee. When multiple site collections are being transferred at one time, a separate file folder tree should be generated for each site collection.
Within each site file folder, one folder should be designated as containing all Collection Level metadata files. This folder should be titled "Site Name - Site Metadata". A second folder should be titled "Site Name - Digital Files". Within that folder would be a series of folders, including one that contains all formal reports generated related to the collection and a series of folders that separate other files by file type, i.e., all word documents should be together within one folder, all GIS data contained together in another, all images in another folder. Each file type folder should be named according to the site folder, and indicate the kind of digital files in the folder - i.e., "Lawson Site AgHh-1_Images".
Within each File Type folder, there should be a sub-folder containing metadata information for all digital files in the folder - for example in the "Images" folder would be a subfolder labelled "Lawson Site AgHh-1_Image Metadata". These metadata folders should contain all file-level metadata pertaining to the file in that folder.
Finally, when there are an extensive number of files in a sub-folder, these can be subdivided into sub-folders for ease of search and retrieval. These subdivisions should be by logical in-site contexts, e.g., by Feature numbers (e.g., 1-50, 501-100, etc.), by Grid units (e.g., 500N-005E, 500N-010E, etc.), by feature type (e.g., Cellar_NW Quadrant, etc.), by spatially distinct components (e.g., Late Woodland Features, 18th century well, etc.).
The following graphic provides an example File Directory Tree for the Lawson Site:
To be completed.
Metadata, often described as "data about data", is an essential aspect of digital archiving that facilitates the identification and preservation of digital data through the interoperability of diverse data systems and resources and by structuring digital data in a way that is understandable to both people and computer systems. Metadata provides information about a file or dataset that explains to a user details such as when, where and with what software and hardware a file was created, who created it, the purpose it was intended to serve, and the content and structure of the data. Metadata is an effective organization tool for digital data that aids in the identification and management of digital resources by describing those resources in a standardized manner, making those resources easy to identify, retrieve, use, and even repair if a file has become corrupted.
The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) has developed standardized Dublin Core metadata schema for archaeological digital data. This encompasses both collection-level and file-level metadata fields, and is reflected below in the metadata fields Sustainable Archaeology requires for digital data transfers.
In order to ensure the future use and migration of digital resources held by Sustainable Archaeology, a Collection Transfer Metadata Form can be filled out and submitted at the time digital datasets are transferred. No digital datasets can be incorporated into the Sustainable Archaeology Informational Platform without the inclusion of this documentation.
Collection-level metadata refers to information that pertains to all digital datasets being submitted related to a specific collection (site, project, etc.). This data includes terminologies for period, site name(s), location, and keywords that are related for a specific collection transfer to Sustainable Archaeology. This type of metadata will allow users to quickly identify any dataset and its association with a specific collection in the Sustainable Archaeology Repository and digital data in the Informational Platform. Adhering to Dublin Core metadata schema for archaeological digital data, this metadata incorporates the following thirteen core elements:
File Level Metadata is essentially consistent information for each file provided. This "tag" allows users to understand the nature of those individual files contained within a dataset, as well as the relationships between individual files. Information such as the type of hardware and software used to create the dataset as well as other details that indicate when and why the file was created are recorded at the file level to facilitate future use of the files, as well as future migration and verification of the files. Using the Metadata Transfer Form will allow this file information to be batched so that all like files only need to information filled out once.
Additional file-specific metadata information is needed for specific types of file. This will allow for verification of the integrity of a database received; to understand any failures or disabled functions or macros in databases, spreadsheets, etc.; understand native resolution and scaling limitations of GIS mapping or images; and to ensure migration of file data in the future is informed of settings, embedded macros or security certificates, or other potential risks to ensuring file security. As such, specific file-level metadata, either as embedded file tags with the file, or as an accompanying data table, is needed specific to the following file type.
All Image files require a digital label tag, which is then affixed to the file itself. The standard labelling format for photographs is IPTC/XMP (International Press Telecommunications Council/Extensible Metadata Platform), and can be created from a wide number of open source and proprietary image editing programs (e.g., Photoshop, Breezebrowser, XnView, etc). Similar though more limited labelling tags can be accessed directly through current Windows OS.
Collections submitted to Sustainable Archaeology must be complete. This includes the entire artifact and organic remains assemblage that make up the collection. Any prospective transferee completing analysis, report writing, or otherwise still requiring access to materials from the collection should hold off on the transfer until all such work has been completed. Likewise, if objects from a collection have been temporarily loaned for a period of time, the transfer should take place after those items have been returned (the borrower is welcome to contact Sustainable Archaeology to loan out the materials again, after they have been incorporated into the Repository and Informational Platform).
Additionally, all digital documentation related to the collection will need to be included in the transfer. Any work related to completing documentation (e.g., Field Project Reports, Site Record forms), or in converting paper documents to digital information should be finished prior to transfer. Digital data can be delivered on external hard drive or memory stick. Uploading of digital datasets is not available at present.
All Sustainable Archaeology required documentation should be completed prior to transfer, including the Collection Transfer Agreement, Metadata and digital information inventories, etc.
Sustainable Archaeology provides a Transfer Checklist for prospective transferees to complete and submit at the time of transfer, to confirm that all necessary materials, documentation and steps have been completed.
The transport of collections to Sustainable Archaeology is the responsibility of the transferee, and delivery of materials to the facility must be done directly (i.e., not by courier).
In the process of working through the Collection Transfer agreement, the transferee will establish a time to deliver the collection with Sustainable Archaeology - no collection can be accepted without an appointment. Sustainable Archaeology will only accept the transfer of collections delivered during normal hours of operation, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm (excluding Western University holidays).
Collections may only be received by Sustainable Archaeology staff at the Sustainable Archaeology facility - collections may not be left at any department of Western University or at the Museum of Ontario Archaeology. The individual(s) making the delivery of collections will co-sign an invoice with Sustainable Archaeology staff certifying that the specific collection, the right number of boxes, and all appropriate digital media were received by the facility.
Please note that payment of all fees associated with the transfer and/or processing of collections is typically due at the time the collection is delivered to the Sustainable Archaeology facility. See Sustainable Archaeology Fees for more information. Any questions regarding the payment of fees should be directed to the Sustainable Archaeology Manager or Director.
These forms are currently unavailable. Please contact Sustainable Archaeology for more information.
Brady, Colleen et al. Conservation FAQs and Facts. Society for Historical Archaeology, 2006.http://www.sha.org/research/conservation_facts/conservation_facts.cfm (Accessed August 2012)
Conservation Treatments. Society for Historical Archaeology, 2006.http://www.sha.org/research/conservation_facts/treatment.cfm (Accessed August 2012)
Handling Freshly Excavated Artifacts on Site. Society for Historical Archaeology, 2006.http://www.sha.org/research/conservation_facts/handle_artifacts.cfm (Accessed August 2012)
Initial Processing of Archaeological Materials. Society for Historical Archaeology, 2006.http://www.sha.org/research/conservation_facts/process.cfm (Accessed August 2012)
Canadian Conservation Institute. CCI Notes. http://www.cci-icc.gc.ca/publications/notes/index-eng.aspx
Cronyn, J.M. The Elements of Archaeological ConservationLondon: Routledge, 1990.
Dowman, Elizabeth A. Conservation in Field Archaeology. London: Methuen & Co. Ltd., 1970.
Maekawa, Shin and Kerstin Elert. The Use of Oxygen-Free Environments in the Control of Museum Insect Pests. Los Angeles: Getty Conservation Institute, 2003.
National Parks Service. "Appendix I: Curatorial Care of Archaeology Objects".Museum Handbook, Part 1: Museum Collections, Washington DC, 2001.http://www.nps.gov/museum/publications/MHI/AppendI.pdf(Accessed August 2012)
National Parks Service Museum Management Program. Conserv-O-Gram Series. http://www.cr.nps.gov/museum/publications/conserveogram/cons_toc.html
Rodgers, Bradley A. The Archaeologist's Manual for Conservation. New York: Kluwer Academic, 2004.
Scott, Rosalie and Tara Grant. Conservation Manual for Northern Archaeologists. North West Territories: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, 2007.http://www.pwnhc.ca/programs/downloads/conservation_manual.pdf (Accessed August 2012)
Sease, Catharine. A Conservation Manual for the Field Archaeologist. Los Angeles: Institute of Archaeology, University of California, 1994.
Singley, Katherine R. "Caring for Artifacts After Excavation - Some Advice for Archaeologists".Historical Archaeology 15 (1) (1981): 36-48.
Digital Data Standards
Archaeology Data Service. Guides to Good Practice. University of York, 2011.http://guides.archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/
Archaeology Data Service. Guidelines for Depositors. Versions 1.3 and 1.4, 2008 and May 2012.http://archaeologydataservice.ac.uk/advice/guidelinesForDepositors
National Information Standards Organization. Understanding Metadata. Niso Press: Bethesda, 2004.www.niso.org and http://www.niso.org/publications/press/UnderstandingMetadata.pdf (Accessed August 2012)
Selected guidelines from archaeological repositories
Archaeological Research Centre. Requirements for Submitting A Collection to the Archaeological Research Centre.Rapid City: South Dakota State Historical Society, 2009.
Griset, Suzanne et al. Requirements for the Preparation of Archaeological Project Collections for Submission to the Arizona State Museum. Arizona: Arizona State Museum, 2004.
Maryland Historical Trust. Technical Update No. 1 of the Standards and Guidelines for Archaeological Investigations in Maryland Collections and Conservation Standards. 2005.
Minnesota Historical Society. Standards for Processing Archaeological Collections.
Museums of Indian Arts & Culture Laboratory of Anthropology. Procedures Manual for Submission of Archaeological Artifact and Records Collections. Sante Fe: Museum of New Mexico, 2002.
South Dakota State Historical Society, Archaeological Research CentreRequirements for Submitting a Collection to the Archaeological Research Centre. Rapid City: South Dakota Historical Society, 2009.
State Museum of Pennsylvania Section of Archaeology. Curation Guidelines: Preparing Archaeological Collections for Submission to the State Museum of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, 2006.
University of Wyoming Archaeological Repository. Guidelines and Standards. Laramie: University of Wyoming, 2007.