Always, the Work Continues…

Ongoing Collections Management Efforts at TARL

by Kerri Wilhelm

One of TARL’s many functions, and secondary only to its role as an archeological research facility at UT Austin, is serving as a repository for archeological collections derived from permitted excavations in Texas.  It is in TARL’s capacity as a state-certified repository that our staff expends a great deal of time and resources performing the intake tasks associated with reviewing inventories of submitted collections and associated records.  Marybeth Tomka, our new Head of Collections, tries to make the most of the intake process by offering to train students interested in CRM archeology in proper artifact laboratory methods and collections processing techniques.  This is a great opportunity for students interested in learning artifact identification and analysis, especially as relates to ceramic and point typologies, to work with different artifact classes and to learn from knowledgeable staff about their classifications and significance.

This photograph shows PhD. candidate Debora Trein (left) and volunteer Elizabeth Martindale (right) meticulously confirming submitted inventories against their collections they.  In particular Debora is confirming the inventory of a  contractor-submitted collection.  Following her check of the collection, and a review of documentation by Marybeth and Rosario, the collection will be placed into TARL’s permanent curation space.  Elizabeth Martindale is also confirming the inventory against the collections for a submitted collection.  However, following her review the collection she is working on will be sent to another repository for permanent curation.

Keep checking back on the blog as we continue to chronicle the work on the various duties and projects we undertake.  If you’re a college student and interested in archeology, collections management or archives and information management, you’re encouraged to contact Marybeth about opportunities we have for contributing to projects.  Send her an email and let her know that you’re interested in volunteering or in carrying out an internship.  She’ll be glad to discuss these opportunities with you!



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