Aim Three: Caring and Protecting

“Ensuring that the material evidence for the human past is valued and cared for, and managed sustainably for present and future generations, is a key aim for the Strategy.”

‘Before the Museums’ Project

The ‘Before the Museums’ Project began in 2020 to  addresses one of the issues identified in the first of the three work strands created by the Scottish Archaeology in Museums Working Group (1. ‘Before the Museum’, 2. ‘At the Museum’ and 3. ‘Access to knowledge/expertise/skills’). The aim of this project is to provide a stronger bridge between archaeological fieldwork (in particular the work of the commercial sector) and museums.

The project is led by the Association of Local Government Archaeologists Scotland (ALGAO Scotland) and the National Museums Scotland (NMS), and funded by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) as part of Scotland’s Archaeology Strategy.

It has undertaken a number of consultations of the sector, and has issued guidance and recommendations – you can find copies of these below.

Depositing Archaeological Finds & Assemblages in Scottish Museums – 2020 Survey Report

Results of a survey of museums, universities, commercial archaeology companies, and national organisations, to get an idea of the problems and priorities for the preparation and deposition of artefact material into museums.

Implementation of a Processing Free for Archaeological Archives

A Feasibility Report was undertaken looking into the possibility of implementing a ‘Processing Fee’ for museums within developer-led archaeology for accessioning the physical element of archaeological archives in Scotland. This Feasibility Report was subject to a sector wide survey including museums, commercial archaeology companies and national organisations, with the results, including revised recommendations, presented in a subsequent Consultation Report.

Minimum Standards

Guidance on the Minimum Standards for the transfer of archaeological assemblages to museums in Scotland – was subject to a sector wide consultation, including museums, commercial archaeology companies and national organisations. The results of that, including recommendations for revising the draft standards and the necessary working groups to resolve particular issues, is presented in the subsequent Consultation Report.

Archaeological Archives Glossary for Museums

Following an identified need for additional guidance for museums relating to the accessioning and cataloguing of archaeological objects, a review of available existing resources was undertaken. The resulting glossary of key thesauri has been created for use, especially within the museum sector.