Award Details


Award for Excellence in Curation and Collections Management

Nomination/Submission Deadline: 01 Dec 2023

Award Description

This award is given yearly to recognize excellence in curation and collections management: including advances in collections intake, documentation (including data basing), maintenance, conservation, and/or accessibility.

Candidates may include individuals employed by repositories/museums; federal, state, tribal, or local government agencies; academic departments; and similar institutions that have advanced the curation and management of archaeological collections during recovery in the field or during acquisition, documentation, maintenance, conservation, and/or use within a repository.

Who Is Eligible to Submit Nominations or Apply for the Award

Any SAA member may nominate an individual, institution, or other qualified recipient or agency for these awards. Awardees must be members of the SAA at the time of acceptance.

Nomination/Submission Materials Required

Nominators must submit: [1] a letter (3 pages maximum) that clearly describes the nature, scope, and significance of the nominee's contributions as they   are relevant to the award  [2] the nominee's curriculum vita (or that of all members of a group being nominated); [3] any links to online or social media information about the nominee's accomplishments relevant to the nomination; and [4] letters of support from other scholars, researchers, or collections managers/curators that demonstrate how the nominee meets and/or exceeds the award criteria (maximum of two letters). Please send submissions via email as a single file (PDF preferred) to the committee chair.

Other Special Requirements

Prior to any award recommendation being finalized and publicly announced, anyone recommended for an award, scholarship, or grant will be required to certify the following:

(a)  I am not and have not ever been the subject of a discrimination or harassment lawsuit or related administrative complaint that resulted in an adverse finding; and

(b)  I do not have and have not had a current or pending disciplinary action such as suspension or termination of registration, resulting from a Register of Professional Archaeologists’ grievance investigation.

Nature of Award (e.g. monetary, medal, symposium)

The awardee is recognized by the SAA through a plaque presented during the business meeting held at the Annual Meeting, a citation in The SAA Archaeological Record, and acknowledgment on the awards page of the SAA Website.

Current Committee Charge

The Awards for Excellence in Curation, Collections Management, and Collections-Based Research and Education Committee solicits nominations and selects recipients for the following two awards: Award for Excellence in Collections-Based Research and Education and the Award for Excellence in Curation and Collections Management. These awards are presented in special recognition of excellence by an archaeologist or group of archaeologists whose innovative work, or repeated and enduring contributions, have contributed significantly to archaeology and the preservation, documentation, and use of the collections recovered from archaeological investigations. 

Committee Composition

Committee composition a chair and at least four members.

Term Length

Term length is three years. Individuals ending their terms cycle off the committee at the close of the Business Meeting held during the annual SAA Meeting, and new appointees begin their terms at this time.

Award Cycle


Committee Chair and End of Term

Jenna Domeischel [2025]

Committee Chair Contact Information

Committee Members and Ends of Terms

Selection or Evaluation Criteria

Nominees are evaluated on their demonstrated ability to bring archaeology and archaeological understandings to a broader public through their engagement with existing collections. Submissions will be assessed according the a) appropriateness of the scope of the nominee's contributions to curation and collections management; b) the degree of the nominee's integration of preservation, documentation, and use of collections recovered from archaeological investigations; c) the timeliness of the nominee's work; d) the contributions the nominee has made toward the SAA's mission to increase diversity and reach diverse audiences; e) evidence of collaboration by the nominee with a wide range of archaeological stakeholders; and e) the overall significance of the nominee's work. Particular attention will be paid to the extent to which the nominees' advances may be generalized or extended across relevant domains of collections-based archaeology, rather than being specific to individual collections or projects.

Committee Deliberation Process (e.g. dates, venue)

The committee will review the materials and meet electronically or via telephone to select the recipient after the nomination deadline has passed.

2024 Stephen E. Nash
2023 The Digital Archaeological Record
2022 Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University
2021 Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory

Recipients of the prior Award for Excellence in Curation, Collections Management, and Collections

2019 S. Terry Childs 
2017 John P. Hart
2016 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mandatory Center of Expertise for the Curation and Management of Archaeological Collections