The University of Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist (OSA) serves the people of Iowa as the statutorily mandated repository for the State's archaeological collections according to Iowa Administrative Code 685, Chapters 7 and 8. The OSA curates collections from contract- or grant-funded projects and private donations. Through cooperative curation agreements, the OSA curates collections for federal and state agencies.

Contract or Grant-funded Projects

OSA provides curation services for archaeological consulting firms, museums, and agencies for Iowa archaeological collections. The OSA adds archaeological specimens to the State Archaeological Repository and associated documentation to the OSA Archives (Iowa Administrative Code 685-7, 8). The decision whether to accept a collection for curation will be made by the State Archaeologist in accordance with administrative rules and upon recommendation by the Research Collections Director. The OSA reserves the right to refuse to accept materials that the OSA cannot properly care for because of space or conservation restraints, and the OSA will not accept materials deemed health hazards.

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Curation Services Guidelines

OSA maintains a comprehensive guide for archaeological consulting firms, museums, and agencies who wish to contract us for curation services. The guide includes a donation agreement form, material submittal form, catalog specimen affiliations and categories, and conventions for photo catalogs. Please contact the Research Collections Director for the most recent version.

Request the guide

Private Donations

OSA accepts private donations on a case-by-case basis. Not all private donations will be added to the repository, some will be added to teaching or comparative collections used for educational purposes. Collections with thorough documentation such as site numbers and collection history will be prioritized.

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Best Practices for Personal Collections

OSA provides advice for collecting artifacts and caring for personal collections. Learn how to organize and document your archaeological finds.

Learn More

Collections Staff

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Seraphina Carey

Title/Position
Senior Collections Assistant
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Teresa Rucker

Title/Position
Research Support Services

Fees for Curation Services

Artifact Collections fee (applicable to archaeological consulting firms, museums, agencies)
Processing fee  $10 per accession
Preparation charge  $44/hour. This fee is applicable if artifacts are not prepared according to Curation Services Guidelines.
In perpetuity curation One-time $1050 per cubic foot; minimum charge 0.01 cubic feet; 0.01 cubic foot increments.
Annual curation (applicable to federal and state collections only): One-time $157.50 per cubic foot acceptance fee plus $44.50 per cubic foot annual fee; minimum charge 0.01 cubic feet; 0.01 cubic foot increments. Owner responsible for return transport or shipping fees if curation agreement discontinued.
Loans Reimbursement for initial loan or exhibit preparation-related consultation is limited to expenses, e.g., mileage and per diem (if needed), based on current state rates. No charge for initial consultation visits at OSA (up to two hours).

Extended effort for loan or exhibit preparation (including but not limited to selection of loan items, preparation of display copy, and packing) is offered at hourly rates commensurate with current staff salaries/benefits plus applicable expenses.

 

Document Collections fee (applicable to archaeological consulting firms, museums, agencies)
Processing fee  $5 per accession
Preparation charge  $44/hour. This fee is applicable if documents are not prepared according to Curation Services Guidelines.
In perpetuity curation
  • Letter-sized documents: one-time $344 per linear inch; minimum charge 0.1 inch; 0.1 inch increments.
  • Oversized documents: one-time $15.75 per item.
  • Photographs: one-time $8.40 per item.
  • Electronic documents including digital photos: one-time $6.30 per gigabyte (minimum charge 1 gigabyte)
Annual curation (applicable to federal and state collections only):
  • Letter-sized documents: $51.45 per linear inch acceptance fee plus $14.70 per linear inch annual fee; minimum charge 0.1 inch; 0.1 inch increments.
  • Oversized documents: $3.75 per item acceptance fee plus $1 per item annual fee.
  • Photographs: $1 per item one-time acceptance fee plus $0.35 per item annual fee.
  • Electronic documents: $1 per gigabyte one-time acceptance fee plus $0.30 per gigabyte annual fee
Loans $44 per hour documents preparation charge for file digital transfer (or CD preparation) of electronic documents from the OSA Archives; 30 minute minimum; cost may be waived for academic use or agreements leading to mutual exchange of electronic documents. Note some documents may not be available due to inclusion of confidential archaeological site location data or copyright.