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Curation

Archaeological materials held by University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archaeological Research Laboratory (ARL) are curated in dedicated curation facilities located in Sabin Hall on UWM’s Milwaukee campus. Archaeological collections are housed in a 2400 sq.ft. facility compliant with federal regulations as outlined in Standards and Guidelines for Curation of Federally-owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR 79). Project documentation, including field notes, maps, and photographs, are stored separately in a 2100 sq.ft. secure facility. Digital collections are archived off-site on servers maintained by UWM. The ARL holdings represent materials generated by outside researchers as well as UWM faculty, staff, and students and include materials from over 800 archaeological sites in the U.S., Caribbean, and Mexico. The ARL makes collections available on a temporary basis for qualified researchers, MOA signatories, and the sponsoring agency. The ARL reserves the right to refuse specific collections, oversize items, redundant sample lots, or materials requiring specialized conservation methods.

Sponsored research by UWM personnel are typically curated at no charge. Curation of materials generated by non-UWM researchers is accomplished through extramural contracts administered by UWM-CRM. Schedule of costs and procedures for requesting an Archaeological Curation Agreement are available online.

General Policy

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Archaeological Research Laboratory (ARL) is the official repository for archaeological collections from southeast Wisconsin (SHSW Region 9). Although preference is given to materials originating in Region 9, the ARL will accept collections from other portions of Wisconsin and adjacent states. Acceptance of collections originating outside Region 9 is entirely at the discretion of the Director and/or Assistant Director. Acceptance of collections may be predicated on exclusion of certain material types or artifact categories. In general, the ARL will accept only complete collections. A collection is deemed complete if it includes in addition to the artifacts themselves, the following components:

  • adequate documentation (copies of field notes, logs, maps, photos, slides, computer files, etc.)
  • a completed State site form for each archaeological site represented in the collection
  • a notice of gift transferring permanent ownership of the collection to the ARL.

Contact Information

Collections Manager
Kat Sterner
email: ksterner@uwm.edu
Fax: 414-229-5848