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.



Selection Toolkit Presentation

Presentation from the Selection Toolkit workshops, providing an introduction to the Selection Toolkit project and teh resources created.​

Selecting the Material Archive Presentation

Presentation from the Selection Toolkit workshops considering the issues around finds selection and the use of the toolkit.

Next Steps Presentation

Presentation from the Selection Toolkit workshops on the next steps that need to be taken.



Next Steps Worksheet

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

The aim of this worksheet is to provide suggestions on how you may advocate selectiuons strategies in your own workplace. The activities suggested are grouped by the time it will take to carry out the activity.