Archiving your work
It is important that you preserve a record of your work on an historic landscape, archaeological site or building. This will be a valuable record for future generations when your site has long since been eroded, destroyed or built over. Indeed, if you have fieldwalked or excavated a site, your record may be the only record left, as the physical evidence in its original location has - by definition - been destroyed through the process of investigation. Make sure you back up computer records, and copy written and drawn records, to ensure that at least two copies are preserved in different places. Write a report of your findings as soon as possible. Your Local Authority Archaeologist may require that you submit a report anyway. You might need specialist help in structuring and writing this as it should follow industry standards. Some guidance is available from the IFA in the form of guidance and standards documents∞ available online.
Recently, the Institute of Field Archaeologists (IFA), on behalf of the Archaeological Archives Forum (AAF), has published a best practice guidance document that brings together procedures in all stages of the archive process. The final version of the document, written by Duncan H. Brown of Southampton Museums, is now available to download∞ (in PDF format). It is a comprehensive, practical and exhaustive guide to the whole process of archaeological archiving for both material and documentary archives, from project planning through to final deposition and the archive's subsequent curation.
For more information on this document, and on the work of the Archaeological Archives Forum in general, click here∞.
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