An archaeological curation dilemma with an approach to a solution - The Texas-based accreditation program for curatorial facilities

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Abstract

The state-based accreditation program developed in Texas focuses on the care and management of archaeological collections held in curatorial facilities within the state and may prove beneficial on a broader scale in addressing the national curation crisis. An accreditation program is a peer-evaluation process and tool that helps illuminate the problems, establish priorities, and allocate resources in order to achieve the standards or objectives set. The accreditation process in Texas (through the Accreditation and Review Council (ARC) of the Council of Texas Archeologists) is based on museum concepts and used the American Association of Museums accreditation program as a model. The process entails an application, institutional self-evaluation, field review by trained peer reviewers, deliberation by ARC members, and determination made; followed later by reaccreditation. Among the benefits of participating in the program, the process provides the opportunity to emphasize the strengths of the curatorial facility, identify its problems by providing a systematic review of its operations, and help improve its operations and facilities. A state-based program fits into the national scheme of archaeological collections standards and care by being a potential model for a national peer-evaluation program to monitor curation care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalPlains Anthropologist
Volume48
Issue number186
DOIs
StatePublished - 2003

Keywords

  • Accountability
  • Accreditation
  • Collections management
  • Curation crisis
  • Curatorial facility

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