The Archaeological Survey of Idaho has its origins in the archaeology inventory program created by the Idaho State University Museum in 1958. The oversight of the survey was transferred in 1976 to the State Archaeologist with the support of the Idaho Advisory Council of Professional Archaeologists (IACPA) and three repositories were formed to care for archaeological information and collections.
In 1992, the Idaho Legislature formally established the Idaho Archaeological Survey as a multi-agency cooperative program. Currently the survey operates the Eastern Repository (Idaho State University), the Western Repository (the Idaho State Historical Society and Boise State University), and the Northern Repository (University of Idaho).
The collections curation program for the Archaeological Survey of Idaho was developed to ensure the preservation and continued access to archaeological collections from sites within the State of Idaho. The term "collection" refers to materials recovered by archaeological surveys, tests or excavations and all supporting documentation, including maps, field notes, records of analysis, catalogues, reports, photographic media, and site forms.
To gain access to these materials, please contact our office to make an appointment. Be advised that access to archaeological collections and site forms is limited according to federal regulations. Be prepared to supply a resume or CV, and signs forms ensure confidentially.
Access to Collections
Collections are available for legitimate scientific, educational, and religious uses, subject to terms and conditions of the collection owner as well as those necessary to protect and preserve the condition, research potential, religious, or sacred importance of the collection.
The collections manager should be contacted to visits to use a collection in order to schedule a time when staff assistance is available and the collection is not already committed to another use.
Collections are to be studied in areas of the repository set aside for this purpose. If necessary, a loan agreement subject to collection owner approval may be arranged for institutions and agencies for off-site use.
Costs of preparing collections for loan, including packaging, transportation, inventory, and re-shelving upon return, are the responsibility of the borrower.
To avoid damage or reduction in their scholarly and scientific value, all materials should be handled with great care; failure to be reasonable and prudent in the use of collections will result in the loss of access to them. Insurance coverage may be required for the off-site use of a collection.
Materials in use are not normally available for concurrent use by another researcher. In some cases, special arrangements may be made for on-site study of material in exhibits if the material can be returned expeditiously to the exhibit. In the case of materials already under study, the consent of both the collections manager and the individual directing the study is necessary before the materials can be examined by another individual. The repository should be contacted as additional collection owner approval may be necessary.
Individuals using materials on loan are not authorized to make further loan of the material to someone else.
Loans will normally be limited to a period of six months. Evidence of continued study must be forthcoming or individuals holding materials on loan will be required to relinquish the materials. Such evidence can take the form of regular report on the progress of the study in question. If an extension of a loan period is desired, a written request must be made prior to the end of the original loan period.
When the study of materials under the care of a repository results in a publication the borrower should make proper acknowledgement to the Survey and the owner of the collection and provide two copies of the publication (one for distribution to the collection owner and the collection owner’s records) to the repository.