MAC Lab Curation
What is Curation at the MAC Lab
The MAC Lab’s Curation program is responsible for the long-term preservation of the estimated eight to ten million artifacts either owned by or in the custody of the State of Maryland. This includes ensuring collections are properly packaged in acid-free, archival materials and stored in a climate controlled environment. It is also committed to making those collections accessible for research, education and public exhibit. The collections have been excavated by both amateur and professional archaeologists, from state, private and federally-owned land, and represent 12,000 years of human history in Maryland. Approximately 90% of the collections curated at the MAC Lab are owned by the State and are managed by the Lab’s State Curation program. The remaining 10% are owned by the Federal government and managed by the Federal Curation program.
Importance of Curation
The State of Maryland’s archaeological collections are non-renewable cultural resources, which are a significant part of the State’s history and prehistory. Archaeological collections can provide a unique perspective on past peoples and give voice to groups that may not be represented in historical documents.
Without proper curation care, these important pieces of the State’s heritage would be in danger of loss or damage. Therefore, acid-free archival packaging materials, appropriate artifact handling, and climate controlled storage environments are imperative for the long term preservation of the State’s archaeological collections. Proper curation also ensures easy access to collections for research purposes.
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