What we leave behind: establishing value and building a sustainable legacy through the selection of archaeological archives, from project inception, through deposition and beyond.
Presentation from the CIfA 2019 annual conference.
Archaeological archives are an integral component in safeguarding the evidence of our past. However, pressure on storage space and curatorial resources have increased the focus on being more selective when it comes to what we choose to retain for future generations. The aim of a selection strategy should be to ensure that the elements retained from a working project archive for inclusion in a preserved archive are appropriate to establish the significance of the project and support future research, outreach, engagement, display and learning activities. However, the application of such a process is not universal, and many units, specialists and museums have described misunderstandings and a lack of knowledge and tools when it comes to the creation of appropriate, project specific selection criteria. This paper will present the recently completed CIfA ‘Selection Toolkit’, its origins, application and case studies of how it can be applied, while reflecting on the legacy of the selection process on the memory and record of our archaeological profession.
The Benefits of Implementing a Selection Strategy
A short bite-sized video highlighting the benefits of implementing a Selection Strategy.
HOW TO: Create a Selection Strategy
A short bite-sized video about how to create a Selection Strategy. This video maybe helpful as an aid to informing others about how to create a Selection Strategy. The information in this video can also be found on The Toolkit page.
HOW TO: Use the Learning Resources
A short bite-sized video about how to use the Selection Toolkit resources. This video maybe helpful as an aid to informing others about the Selection Toolkit. The information in this video can also be found on the The Toolkit page.
- Selection Toolkit Presentation (PDF file)
Presentation from the Selection Toolkit workshops, providing an introduction to the Selection Toolkit project and the resources created.
Presentation from the Selection Toolkit workshops considering the issues around finds selection and the use of the toolkit.
- Next Steps Presentation (PDF file)
Presentation from the Selection Toolkit workshops on the next steps that need to be taken.
- Next Steps Worksheet (PDF file)
The aim of this worksheet is to help you think about how you will begin to implement selection strategies in your own organisations, how you might go about doing that and who you will need to help you.
- Selection Toolkit Advocacy Activities (PDF file)
The aim of this worksheet is to provide suggestions on how you may advocate Selection Strategies in your own workplace. The activities suggested are grouped by the time it will take to carry out the activity.
Selection Strategy Exercise Materials
The following materials were used in our Selection Strategy Workshop Exercises. The purpose of the materials are to replicate, to some degree, the resources available to a Project Manager when beginning a Selection Strategy for a historic environment project. These materials can be re-used if you wish to carry out your own training exercise or wish to attempt to create a Selection Strategy for a hypothetical project.
- Exercise Description
- WSI Excerpt
- Museum Guidelines Excerpt
- Regional Research Framework Excerpt
- Data Management Plan
Selection Strategy Examples
There is a whole page of this Selection Toolkit dedicated to Selection Strategy Examples. If you wish to submit your own Selection Strategy to help build the resource we would welcome any additions. Please send completed examples, with written permission to distribute them via the Selection Toolkit website to email@example.com.