Curation Services

The Center for Archaeological Studies provides Curation Services for archaeological collections (artifacts and records). 

CAS accepts State and Federal archaeological collections from projects in and around the State of Texas for permanent curation. 

See Below for Submission Guidelines. 

CAS also offers Curation Preparation Services! Contact us to learn more. 

Looking to curate artifacts or records at CAS?

Guidelines and Steps for Curation Submittals

Archaeological materials and records submitted for curation at CAS must adhere to the curatorial standards established by the Council for Texas Archaeologists and by the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University-San Marcos:

Have questions? CAS staff are available to help you at all stages of the curation process. Our Curation Services team can be reached via email or at 512.245-2724.

  • Prior to submitting a collection for curation, the appropriate Request for Housing Form must be received and approved by CAS staff.  The approved Request for Housing form also serves as the Provisional Housing Agreement.

    Request for Housing forms should be completed, signed by the principal investigator, and submitted to CAS by email. A separate Request for Housing form must be submitted for each project/collection.

    If the Request for Housing is approved, CAS staff will return the countersigned form to the submitter along with the assigned Accession Number for the collection.

    Note: The associated Federal Agency will be required to enter into a written agreement with CAS for curatorial services. This agreement must have the capability to fund adequate long-term curatorial services as set forth in 36 CFR §79.

  • An appropriate ownership/transfer document is required for each project sponsor and each landowner as listed on the permit. If the project sponsor and landowner are the same entity, then only one form is required.

    Submitters must include the completed and signed ownership/transfer documents with the project records for the collection (see Step 3 below).

    • Private Sponsor Letter of Transfer 
      This document is signed by a private project sponsor and the submitting archaeologist.
    • Governmental Agency Letter of Transfer 
      This document is signed by the governmental agency that is serving as the project sponsor and/or landowner and the submitting archaeologist. A governmental agency is any political subdivision of the State of Texas, including city and county agencies.
    • Deed of Gift 
      This document is signed by a private landowner. The Deed of Gift is also used to document the formal transfer of gifted/donated materials to CAS from an individual or organization.

    CAS highly recommends that curation submitters obtain ownership/transfer documents as soon as possible during your project. 

  • Archaeological materials and records submitted for curation at CAS must be prepared according to the following guidelines:

    Have questions? CAS staff are available to help you at all stages of the curation process. Our Curation Services team can be reached via email or at 512.245-2724.

  • Each collection must be accompanied by the following forms describing the collection:

    Required for all collections:

    Additional forms required for artifact collections:

    For State of Texas Held-In-Trust collections, CAS will fill out the THC Artifact Curation Form and THC Held-In-Trust Agreement on the submitting archaeologist’s behalf.

    Submitters may use their own collection description forms (except for the Curation Submittal Checklist) as long as they contain the same information as the CAS templates provided.

    Word and/or Excel versions of some forms are available upon request by contacting CAS via email.

  • Records-only collections may be mailed or hand-delivered to CAS. In general, artifact collections must be hand-delivered to CAS at our curation facility on the Texas State University campus in San Marcos, TX.

    Artifacts may be submitted by mail only with advanced approval from CAS staff. This option is generally reserved only for very small collections of stable materials. 

    A Temporary Custody Receipt will be emailed to the submitter after CAS staff have received and reviewed your delivery, typically within 1-3 business days of receipt. The Temporary Custody Receipt will contain the official measurements of the collection (boxes of artifacts and linear inches of records) that will be used to assign the applicable curation fees.

    Packaging of Collections:
    Fully prepared artifact collections may be delivered in CAS archival boxes (obtained in advance) or in non-archival boxes of the same dimensions (15 x 11 x 12 inches).

    • Email CAS to check our availability of archival boxes for pick-up.
    • Any artifacts submitted in non-archival boxes will be transferred into CAS archival boxes upon receipt.

    Project records must be organized into archival file folders. Fully prepared records collections may be temporarily stored in any clean, appropriately sized container (such as a banker’s box or mailing carton) during curation prep and delivery to CAS.

    • Project records will be transferred into standard archival records cartons upon receipt.

    For Submission by Mail:
    Records collections may be mailed to CAS at the following address:

    Center for Archaeological Studies
    c/o Curation Services
    Trinity 120
    601 University Drive
    San Marcos, TX 78666

    Packaging of records for shipping:

    • Records should be packaged in an appropriately sized box or cushioned envelope
    • Fill any gaps within the package with packing materials (e.g. crumpled paper, foam, or bubble wrap)
    • Multiple collections of records may be sent in a single shipment
    • Each package must be accompanied by a cover letter/delivery transmittal letter that includes the following information:
      • CAS Accession Number(s)
      • Project Name(s)
      • Permit Number(s)
      • Company Name
      • Name and contact information for submitting archaeologist

    Contact CAS staff to send notice of the of the shipment and provide the tracking number for the delivery.

    For Hand Delivery:

    • Contact CAS staff at least 48 hours in advance to arrange for a delivery permit and provide the following information:
      • CAS accession number(s) for the project(s) that will be delivered
      • Name and company for the person completing the delivery
      • The projected date and time of the delivery
    • CAS staff will assess the availability of staff and resources to accept the delivery at the preferred date and time. If necessary, CAS will propose alternate date(s) and time(s).
      • Once a delivery window is confirmed, CAS staff will request a delivery permit from Parking Services.
      • CAS staff will send a confirmation email to the submitter when the delivery permit is approved by Parking Services.
    • On delivery day, the delivery vehicle should enter the Texas State University campus at the North LBJ Entrance. Check in with the kiosk to be granted entry through the gate. After passing through the gate, turn left to go down Pleasant Street.
      • The CAS Curation Facility is located in the back of the Trinity building, accessed through the alley way between Trinity and Pecos (on the left side of Pleasant Street).
      • CAS staff can provide detailed driving directions and delivery instructions upon request.
  • CAS will issue a curation invoice based on our current fees as soon as your submission has been processed and verified as complete and ready for final curation. Unless notified otherwise, CAS will email the invoice to the Principal Investigator listed on the Temporary Custody Receipt.

    CAS offers several convenient payment options:

    Visit our online portal to make an ACH or Credit Card Payment, or

    Checks may be mailed to:
    Center for Archaeological Studies
    Trinity 120
    601 University Drive
    San Marcos, TX 78666

    Note: A separate check/payment must be submitted for each invoice.

    For State of Texas Held-In-Trust collections:
    Once the curation invoice is paid in full, CAS will submit the Held-In-Trust form and Artifact Curation form to the Texas Historical Commission on behalf of the submitting archaeologist. The collection will be formally accessioned after we receive the signed forms back from the THC.

    For TxDOT-affiliated projects:
    If the collection falls under CAS’s curation agreement with TxDOT, then a curation invoice will not be issued to the Principal Investigator. Instead, CAS will request a Notice to Proceed (NTP) from TxDOT. The NTP must be approved by TxDOT before CAS can proceed with processing the collection and submitting the Held-In-Trust form and Artifact Curation form to the Texas Historical Commission. Please contact your TxDOT representative and/or CAS staff to determine if your project falls under this curation agreement.

    For all other collections (including Federal curation and gifted collections):
    Once all applicable curation fees are paid, CAS will formally accession the collection.

Available Services

  • Coordination of Conservation Needs
  • Curation Preparation
  • Digitization
  • Federal Curation
  • Non-Federal Curation
  • Public Outreach