Collections Management

The Midwest Archeological Center (MWAC) takes care of archeological collections for over 70 National Park Service units spanning the mid-continent, from the western High Plains to the Ohio Valley. These collections include artifacts (or material remains of past human occupation) recovered during archeological fieldwork and archives (field and laboratory records, photographs, maps, reports, and digital data) created during that work. After over 50 years of archeology in the parks, collections curated at MWAC include nearly 3 million artifacts and archival documents!

When new project collections come to MWAC, they are subject to high NPS standards for documentation, protection, and preservation. All the work we do is designed to make sure these special objects – and the information about them – are available for public enjoyment for decades to come. The Center’s collections management staff perform a wide range of activities to ensure proper museum property care and management.
Close-up of a historic glass bottle with a label being applied with a fountain pen and archival ink


Find out how collections staff keep track of all the items in our care.

Two women wearing coats and gloves place boxes of 35 mm slide film into commercial freezers.

Protection and Preservation

Artifacts and archives need specialized care to be preserved for future generations.

5 people gathered around a table scattered with papers & objects & a box of artifacts in the center

Public Enjoyment

The National Park Service preserves special places and objects for the people!

Last updated: August 27, 2020