Some Comments and Suggestions about the Archaeology Week/Month Poster…

Do you have suggestions, comments, or experiences to share in regards to this topic?

If so, please contact the Archaeology for the Public Web Page Manager and your comments will be entered below. Contributors to date:

(VW)  Virginia A. Wulfkuhle is Public Archeologist at the Kansas State Historical Society. From 1994-2002 she coordinated Kansas Archeology Week. She now serves on the Kansas Archaeology Month committee for the Professional Archaeologists of Kansas.
(PLJ)  Patrice L. Jeppson reports information gathered during the course of creating this web page.
(BK)  Betsy Shirk is Past President of the Society for Georgia Archaeology.
(SK) Steve Kennedy Chief of Grants and Administration Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology Indianapolis

Is there a suggested size for the Archaeology Week/Month Poster?

VW – Before deciding on a poster size, I suggest checking with local printers to find out if a certain size and weight of paper is more economical than another. In general, the Kansas posters are about 16 X 22 inches. We produced posters in thematic series (1994-1997, 1998-2000, 2001-2002) and kept the size uniform through each series. For a number of years (1994-2000) we printed educational materials on the reverse, and then went to an accompanying brochure. There are pros and cons to each method. If the poster is hung, information on the back is hidden. On the other hand, a brochure often gets separated from its poster.

- Due to increased cost of supplies and postage, Kansas gave up on tube mailings after a couple of years. The printer folds the posters that are to be mailed in envelopes.We keep a supply of unfolded posters to be handed out.

PLJ- There appears to be no one mandated size for an Archaeology Month Poster. Rather, it varies state to state and its size is based on local needs and wants.

- One thing useful to consider when deciding on the size is the related mailing requirements. Irregularly sized posters (be they extra large or small) can require special sized mailing tubes and that may incur extra shipping expense. Alternatively, an 11x17 inch poster can easily be folded in half and mailed flat in a padded envelope along with other Archaeology Week/Month materials. Larger posters can also be quarter folded and mailed flat.

-Some states print a list of Archaeology Week/Month programs or print other educational information on the backside of the poster. This 2-sided design can mean that two posters need to be mailed if the plan is to have the flip side information posted as well.

Who is responsible for the production costs and how is the distribution dealt with?

BK-[In Georgia] Co-sponsors help defray the costs of bringing [Archaeology Month]  publications and programs to the public. Sponsorship is invited in one or more of the following ways: Cash Donations, which are used to print and mail the poster, information packets, and calendar of events brochures, and In-Kind Services, which may include printing, photography, media coverage and promotion, or other services. Donations of $500.00 or more entitle co-sponsors to have their names printed on the front of the poster. Contributions can be for the general operating fund or for specific events.

Printing – The number of posters printed averages 3000 and costs around $2500. At least 800 lesson plans are produced at an average cost of $1000. The number of event brochures printed varies, but several years enough were printed to send to welcome centers across the state. Costs vary from $600 to $1500.

Distribution - Over 400 sets of 4 posters (1600 posters) each were packaged in mailing tubes for delivery to public 8th grade school teachers across Georgia. Each school also receives a copy of the teachers’ packet (lesson plan), an evaluation form, and an events brochure. All but 40 of these are sent UPS to the Regional Educational Services Area (RESA) districts for distribution to the individual schools. Packaging materials (mailing tubes and envelopes) average $800 and distribution averages $1000. DNR, Parks and Recreation distributes posters and event brochures to the 63 state parks and historic sites. The 236 mailing tubes containing a poster, teachers’ packet and events brochure are hand delivered to the mailroom at the Capitol for distribution to the state legislators.

VW–A committee of the Professional Archaeologists of Kansas (PAK) raises money and determines how many posters can be printed for the amount taken in. The majority of posters are mailed to schools (history, social studies, science, gifted, and library/media teachers), libraries, museums, and related organizations. Volunteers from the Kansas Anthropological Association stuff the envelopes.

SK –We use our annual federal Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) grant (that each State Historic Preservation Office receives) to fund subgrants to local groups and Certified Local Governments, in-house activities and necessary office equipment purchases, and public education and outreach materials - like Archaeology Month items. We report the production of these items as "products" in our End-Of-Year Report to NPS. We hire a designer and printer to develop and produce the Archaeology Month poster and T-shirt each year. Obviously, procurement is according to State guidelines; we just pay the bill and then reimburse the State later using the federal dollars. In the case of T-shirts, which we sell at cost, we collect the sale proceeds and then apply them against the original production cost so that we only use federal funds to reimburse the State for the cost of production minus income. Because we also give away shirts as a promotion for the event, we never make a profit from sales or take in more money than the original cost of production. In short, it is simply our annual HPF grant that allows us to undertake many public education project and products; we don't receive additional, special, or discretionary NPS funding specifically for these Archaeology Month items.

Who grants the approval for the Poster, and at what stages?

VW– Currently in Kansas, members of a PAK committee are responsible for shepherding the poster through design by a volunteer graphic artist and printing.

BK -Planning – Society for Georgia Arch. board members chair the Archaeology Month committee, which ideally includes the following Sub-Committees:

  • Poster – design, graphic artist, text
  • Events – send event request memos to parks, libraries, historical organizations, chapters, consulting firms, universities – put article in Profile - prepare events brochure
  • Educational Materials – 8th grade level lesson plan that complements poster
  • Distribution – contact regional educational services area (RESA) districts, update mailing labels, order packaging materials, package (approx. 50 man-hours), take to UPS/Post Office
  • Publicity – proclamation request; press release; other (newspaper/radio) – statewide; website, bookmarks 
  • Fund-raising – letters soliciting co-sponsors sent to state agencies, private and nonprofit organizations; matching funds; grant applications

An eleven month planning calendar (beginning in June of the previous year) is as follows:

  • June – decide on theme
  • August – preliminary poster design – front and back; begin fund-raising
  • September – memos requesting events sent to state parks and historic sites
  • November – events memos to others (libraries, historical organizations, chapters, consulting firms, universities)
  • December – finalize poster; put events request in Profile (SGA newsletter)
  • Feb – deadline for events; by mid-Feb, poster, educational materials, and events brochure ready for printer
  • March – package and distribute Archaeology Month materials; spring meeting details in Profile
  • April – press release; publicize spring meeting locally

Why is there an archaeology poster contest at SAA (if the posters are created for the public, not the profession)?

PLJ- As I understand it (and I could be wrong) the poster contest began as a means to let other archaeologists know about Archeology Week/Month. The contest remains a resource for SAA to let archaeologists keep abreast about what others are doing: The contest helps to improve the Poster as an outreach product because people get to observe what kinds of designs look good, and they can see the different ways that various thematic topics can be graphically displayed. Personally, I think it would be equally helpful to know where the individual posters were sent (and how many). For example, if I’m remembering right, I noticed in a recent year that one poster did double duty for the needs of a Pacific Rim festival as well as Archaeology Week/Month and that seemed like a really nice extension opportunity – in other words, an idea that we could all learn from. And I understand that these posters are archived for posterity at NPS and it seems a good idea to do that to for future scholars studying the Society and the profession’s history.

Posted by Patrice L. Jeppson 02/07/05