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Research and Access to Collections

Collections at the Laboratory of Archaeology are available for research, access, or use to qualified researchers for scientific and educational research within normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm). Research, access, and use of NAGPRA material controlled by UGA is prohibited and will be granted only after consultation and written approval from an official representative of the affiliated Tribe (s). Research and access for NAGPRA material by federal and state agencies is generally prohibited.  

Per Georgia law, the Laboratory prevents access to site location and information for the general public therefore; the Laboratory limits access to the collections to Laboratory staff and qualified researchers. Qualified researchers consist of professional archaeologists with at least a Master’s Degree in Archaeology, Historic Preservation, Museum Studies, related field, official representative of a Federally recognized tribe or nation, or currently hold a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA) or Registered Archaeologist (RA) certification. Or students working in the field under supervision of a professional archaeologist.  

The Laboratory requires consultation prior to research, access, or use for UGA controlled collections along with other forms depending on the type of research before access is granted (e.g., initial research request, collection access and use agreement, loans, transfers, destructive analysis, and image permission, etc.).The Laboratory also requires copies of data, reports, publications, presentations, imagery, etc. produced as a result of this research to be sent to the Laboratory and descendent communities that were engaged during consultation. We recommend that researchers engage in consultation early on in projects to give communities the time they need to consider the proposed research.

Requests for research, access, or use of collections including but not limited to loans, transfers, destructive analysis, and image permission must be approved with the federal or state agency that does have control over the collection. Additionally, some federal or state agencies require consultation as well as other permits or documentation that need to be completed before research is conducted. 

General Steps for Research Approval

  1. Fill out Initial Research Request Form and email completed form to the Operations Director ( This form will require the below information:
    1. Basic description of Research
    2. What sites or collections are you interested in?
    3. What types of analysis do you plan on conducting?
    4. Will your research result in any changes to the collection?
    5. What data, reports, publications, presentations, imagery, exhibits, etc. will be generated from this research?
    6. Have you contacted any descendant community about this research?
    7. If you are a student, who is your advisor for the research?
  2. The Operations Director ( will assess the form and determine who is the controlling agency for sites/collections that are requested for research
  3. If UGA controlled collection please fill out the Consultation Form and email to Operations Director. Operations Director will then email the affiliated descendant communities with researcher cced to make the initial introduction.
  4. Consultation about the research request can occur between researcher and tribes can occur separately or with Operations Director cced.
  5. Email the Operations Director ( the completed Consultation Form with approvals, comments, and suggestions from descendant communities.
  6. Complete all required forms for the Laboratory including but not limited to collection access and use agreement, loans, transfers, destructive analysis, and image permission
  7. Arrange with research visit with the Laboratory. Please include the following in this request
    1. Date (s) and Time (s)
    2. Site or collection information
    3. Space requests- including if special analytical equipment is being brought in
  8. Conduct research and maintain all required communication.
  9. Include proper citations for the Laboratory, and descendant community in all resulting publications, presentations, etc.
  10. Send the Laboratory, and descendant community a copy of data, imagery, reports, publications, etc. generated from the research of the collection.

Please email the Operations Director, Amanda Roberts Thompson ( for any questions.