Curating a Collection at the Waring Laboratory 

The Waring Laboratory, within its Mission, welcomes the submission of archaeological collections for curation and research use. We accept collections with continuing research value from state and federal agencies, municipalities, and the private sector. The Waring Laboratory serves as a repository for archaeological collections from the Georgia Department of Transportation and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, operates under a Cooperative Agreement for curation with the U.S. Department of the Army, and has been identified as a potential partner for the curation of U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers collections from Georgia and other areas of the southeastern United States. Additionally, the Waring Laboratory curates collections generated through compliance research undertaken by private archaeological research companies operating in Georgia and nearby states.

Curation Steps

Plenary Step – Whether the Waring Laboratory or another curation facility is used, curation should be considered in the design and execution of an archaeological project.  Anticipation of curation needs and processing issues early in the planning stages alleviates many problems that can occur if curation arrangements are considered only after completion of the final project report.

  1. Step 1 – Contact the Laboratory Director or Curator of Collections to discuss the collection, its component parts, and any special needs to confirm our ability to provide an adequate curation environment.
  2. Step 2 – Review the Waring Laboratory’s Collections Standards and Labeling and Packaging Guide (PDF) to ensure proper processing and handling of the collection.
  3. Step 3 – Fill out and submit a Request for Curation Form (PDF).  The Laboratory Director will acknowledge this request and provide information concerning contractual options.
  4. Step 4 – When the collection is ready for curation, fill out and submit a Collections Summary Form (PDF) and complete a Certification of Collection Form (PDF) (if a GDOT project) or an Affidavit Form (PDF) (if not a GDOT project) at least one week prior to delivery. Use the Intake Check List (PDF) as a final check of the collection and its organization.
  5. Step 5 – Contact the Curator of Collections to schedule delivery of the collection to the Waring Laboratory, with one week notice.
  6. Step 6 – The Curator of Collections assesses the collection for compliance with the Waring Laboratory’s Standards for Archaeological Collections within 20 business days after submission for collections up to 100 boxes. Collection greater than 100 boxes will require additional time. The submitter provides additional information or corrective measures as necessary.
  7. Step 7 – The Laboratory Director executes a contractual agreement for curation of the collection.


Most of the collections at the Waring Laboratory are held in trust for the collection owner under formal contractual agreements.  Two contract options are available for the 2022 calendar year:

  • Set Fee Contract– One-time fee of $350 per archival box (1 cubic foot) with a two-box minimum.
  • Renewable Term Contract – Annual fee of $25 per archival box (1 cubic foot) with a two-box minimum.  Contractual term is negotiated on a case-by-case basis for periods of up to 10 years.  Contracts may be renegotiated and renewed at the end of the contractual period.
  • Processing Fees – Processing involves assessing a collection, accepting it, issuing a contract, and/or sending an invoice for payment. No fees are charged to collections up to the Waring Laboratory’s Curation Standards, are less than 100 boxes, and 20 or more business days are needed. Expedited service is available for a cost at the rate of $1.36 per box for each box times the number of business days until needed up to 20 days .  This policy is only for collections under 100 cubic feet.  If the collection is more than 100 cubic feet, contact the Curator of Collections before dropping off the collection to discuss options.