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Preserving the Past Together: Cultural Resource Management, Collections Management Professionals, and the Accessibility of Archaeological Collections

Cameo E. Kale (2017)

The purpose of this study was to better understand the relationship between cultural resource management (CRM) professionals and archaeological repositories, and how that relationship impacted the accessibility of archaeological collections. Current literature suggested that the curation crisis was negatively affected by the working relationship between CRM professionals and repositories. The curation crisis directly impacts the accessibility of archaeological collections. Data was collected from nine CRM archaeologists and two repository collections management professionals who participated in semi-structured interviews. The research was guided by questions revolving around job role perceptions, making archaeology accessible, and the general relationships between CRM and repository professionals. The results of this study provided support for calls to action for CRM archaeologists and repository professionals to work together, but found that there were certain times in which collaboration and contact were more useful than others. This study also found that developing personal relationships and understanding different perspectives was essential for creating constructive working relationships. This study was limited by the small sample size of participants. This study also did not interview tribal repositories or archaeologists – a limitation that leaves an opportunity for future work on this topic.

Keywords: Class of 2017, museum, museum studies, museology, research, cultural resource management, collections


Kale, C., & O’Donnell, Wilson. (2017). Preserving the past together : Cultural resource management, collections management professionals, and the accessibility of archaeological collections. [University of Washington Libraries].