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

The regulations, "Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Archaeological Collections" (36 CFR 79) were first issued in 1990 and updated in 2022. Authorized by NHPA, the Reservoir Salvage Act and ARPA, the regulations apply to excavations done under the authority of these laws, as well as the Antiquities Act. They establish procedures and guidelines to manage and preserve both new and preexisting archeological collections and generated data as permanent records.

36 CFR 79:

  • States the responsibilities of federal agencies to manage and preserve collections;
  • Identifies methods that federal agencies shall use to secure and fund curatorial services;
  • States terms and conditions for federal agencies to include in contracts, memoranda, agreements, and other written instruments with repositories for curatorial services;
  • Establishes standards for federal agencies to determine whether a repository is suitably equipped to provide long-term curatorial services;
  • Provides guidelines for collections use;
  • Specifies procedures and guidelines for conducting periodic inspections and inventories of collections; and
  • Establishes procedures for the disposal of particular material remains of insufficient archeological interest that are held in federally owned or administered archeological collections.

Regulation text:

Last updated: January 10, 2023