It seems that archaeological archives are no longer the dusty secret at the back of the store room, and the myriad of projects and events across the country suggest they are finally being given the time and investment that many of us believe they deserve. Current activities focus on the reported issues: the storage crisis, standards across the sector, decisions around selection and retention, and ultimately the task of depositing archaeological archives with museums.
However, this is not the end of the story.
Archaeological archives should not be left to just languish unloved in stores across the country – this should be the start of their life as a resource for museum display, teaching and of course, research. But are the archives we are depositing actually relevant to this?
This day conference will explore the possible ways in which archives can be used and promoted across the sector, and how closer collaboration between archive creators and archive repositories can enhance their visibility and value. We will be asking if the relevance of archaeological archives can be demonstrated through the projects presented, as well as questioning the future of those deemed of little use for current analysis and research. Potential themes include:
The re-use of deposited archives for outreach, teaching or public engagement projects.
The research into, or publication of historic archives.
Subject specific research projects using archaeological archives.
Material based studies of stored collections
Digitization, cataloguing of archaeological archives to promote use and access
Assessing the values of specific archives, or aspects of archives for research or other activities
The Archaeological Archives Group AGM will also be held on the day.