Archaeological Archives Group


CIfA Council approved the formation of a Special Interest Group for Archaeological Archives, and the yearly AGM was held on 6 March 2012.


The aims of the group are

  • to focus upon issues relating to professional standards, best practice, advocacy and access

  • to promote of awareness of archaeological archives within the profession

  • to represent the interest of those working with archives to CIfA Council and in all CIfA activities

  • to hold seminars and workshops to facilitate the above

  • to establish relationships with other groups associated with archaeological archives

Join the Group

The Group is open to anybody with interests, concerns or involvement with the archive process, and is free to CIfA members. Non-members will need to pay a yearly £10 fee.

To join, please contact the IfA office at


Duncan H Brown (Chair)

Rebecca Sillwood(Secretary)

Helen Parslow (Treasurer)

Theodora Anastasiadou-Leigh

Lorraine Mepham

Samantha Paul

Anooshka Rawden

Ellen McAdam

Steve Baker

Rebecca is our secretary and can be emailed images, events, good news, articles and links at archaeologicalarchives [at]

Future events


Selection, De-selection and Rationalisation - Day conference and including the AAG AGM

16 March 2016, Birmingham City Centre (venue to be confirmed)

It now seems to be generally accepted that we can no longer retain everything produced or recorded during an archaeological project, while space could be created in museum stores, through retrospective selection to current criteria – but what are those criteria? What should a selection strategy look like and has anybody actually applied one?
The aim of this meeting is to answer those questions with a set of overviews and case studies that provide context, introductory guidance and practical examples, with the ultimate goal being the creation of national guidelines. Participants should include those who monitor selection, those who apply it and those who curate the resulting collections. This issue is of interest to all archaeologists, in the present and the future, and we must ensure that the strategies we adopt are consistent, comprehensive and sound.

Potential themes of interest include;

  • Case studies where selection strategies have been applied in the field.
  • Case studies where selection strategies have been applied during post excavation.
    (In both cases strategies which have involved discussions with the receiving museum would be considered from both the unit and museum perspective.)
  • Examples where retrospective rationalisation has been undertaken.
  • Discussions on future potential and sustainable development of archaeological archives.

If you are interested in getting involved, please send a 300 word abstract or a clear outline of your paper to Sam Paul s.h.paul [at] no later than Monday 30 November.

Previous Events

  • SMA held their 2015 conference at the Great North Museum, Hancock, on 11 – 12 November.

It’s not just about box sizes: Alternative archives in archaeological practice

Event flier

CIfA Archives group workshop flier - Alternative-archives-in-archaeological-practice

Plenary event for good practice in archaeological archives workshops

This was held on Wednesday 24 September at Marx Memorial Library, 37A Clerkenwell Green, London EC1R 0DU

This event was set up to review the Regional Archive Workshop programme that has been in action since 2012 and to discuss the future. The last workshop took place in July 2014 and information has been gathered throughout the programme of events on the current level of archive knowledge and specialised resources across the disciplines and within various settings in the UK.
This one day event gave an overview of the reason why the project started, how it was created, the findings from the staged evaluations and looked at the resources needed within the sector for the future.
Thank you to those of you who attended and helped us make some useful and practical decisions on the future of archaeological archives resources within the UK.

Good practice in archaeological archives workshops

The Archives Group have carried out a series of successful regional workshops designed to promote good practice in working with archaeological archives, to provide hands-on experience and encourage participants to engage with archive issues by considering new perspectives.

2014 AGM and Collecting Archaeology event

Wednesday 30 April, Birmingham and Midland Institute
For the full programme and details, please go to the event webpage at

ARCHES Documentation

At the AGM in May 2013, a workshop on a European Standard for Archaeological Archives took place, which included a discussion about the ARCHES documentation

Business plan

Business plan 2014-2016

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