Seminar Details

Deaccessioning Archaeological Collections

Registration Closed!

Deaccessioning Archaeological Collections

When: December 10, 2019 2:00-4:00 PM

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members

S. Terry Childs recently retired as the manager of the Department of the Interior Museum Program that provides policy, oversight, training, and technical assistance to the ten DOI bureaus and offices that own over 206 million museum objects and archives. She has advocated for attention to archaeological collections curation, preservation, and use through numerous books and articles since she began working for the National Park Service’s Archeology Program in 1993. She is the primary author of the Federal regulations on the disposal and deaccessioning of federal archaeological collections proposed to be added to 36 CFR 79, the Curation of Federally-Owned and Administered Archeological Collections. These proposed regulations were issued in November 2014 for public comment, which she then revised based on the numerous comments received. The National Park Service is currently working to publish those regulations as final. Childs also was the first Chair of the SAA Committee on Curation, now Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation, in 2000-2006; served on the SAA Board of Directors in 2013-2016; and chaired the Archaeological Collections Consortium in 2017-2018.

Jenna Domeischel is the curator of the Blackwater Draw Museum at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, New Mexico where she has implemented several deaccessions. She has served on The Society for American Archaeology’s (SAA) Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation, and is currently a member of the Archaeological Collections Consortium, a multi-agency national task force concerned with archaeological curation. Jenna is also the founder and chair of the SAA Curation Interest Group.

Deaccessioning is a collections management tool that is available for wise and judicious removal of archaeological collections. This two-hour seminar is designed to help archaeologists, curators, collections managers, repository managers, and others make good decisions about the appropriateness of a potential deaccession and both the means and the steps necessary to implement a deaccession of archaeological collections or objects. Critical to decision-making is knowledge about the ownership of the archaeological material proposed to be deaccessioned and pertinent laws and policies. Case studies of successful deaccessions will be presented.
  1. Learn to assess whether or not to deaccession archaeological materials and what tools are necessary to make good decisions.
  2. Learn the steps involved in deaccessioning, including who should be involved, the need to document every step, and the costs involved.
  3. Learn the opportunities afforded by the deaccessioning process, including curatorial and educational benefits.