Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archeological Collections (36 CFR 79)

These federal regulations were promulgated in 1990 as required by NHPA, the Reservoir Salvage Act, and ARPA. They provide minimum standards for the long-term management and care of archeological collections, including the associated records and reports. Notably, the regulations consider actions that need to be taken for both new and existing collections.

One of the most important statements made in 36 CFR 79 is the acknowledgement that curation involves real costs to the owners of collections. Furthermore, it is the responsibility of the federal agency that manages the land on which a collection was recovered to fund its long-term care. The regulations then provide guidance on the development of formal relationships between federal agencies and museums on long-term collections managment, as well as standards for selecting an acceptable repository. There are also standards on access and use of collections, inventories, and inspections.

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