CURATION OF PROJECT ARCHIVES
Activities directed at underwater cultural heritage will produce documentation of observations, usually also samples and finds. Together, these collections of records and finds constitute the project archives. As heritage is a public interest, both documentation and find material are to be considered public as well. It is the responsibility of the project and its director to make sure that the archives can fulfil their public role after the project’s termination. They should be kept together and not be dispersed. Moreover, it is important that the archives, both documentation and finds, are accessible for future research as this will allow reassessment of the evidence in the light of new techniques, additional contextual information or data gained from other sites. No material should be excluded from the archive as it may be important in the future. All these requirements are the same for underwater cultural heritage and for archaeological sites on land. Considerable experience exists with the management of archaeological collections. International standards have been developed and these should be adhered to. The curation of project archives is regulated by Rule 32, Rule 33 and Rule 34.
The arguments of this chapter are:
- General considerations on project archives - Rule 32 139
- Composition of project archives - Rule 33 140
- Archiving guidelines - Rule 34 142
- Professional and public access