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Special Collections and University Archives

The Kentucky Archaeological Survey Records Collection was established in January 2011 to preserve published archaeological surveys conducted in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. All 120 counties are represented, including selected counties of adjacent states. The survey records are the property of the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey. Access and usage of the records are defined by federal and state historic site protection codes and laws (see National Historic Preservation Act of 1966). To access the survey records please read the restrictions, policies and procedures listed below. An Archaeological Site Information Confidentiality Agreement Form must be completed and approved by the Director of the Murray State University Archaeological Laboratory, or his/her appointed designee, prior to viewing any survey records.

Open Records Act Exemption

The site inventories and/or the underlying records and/or information maintained by in the Archaeological Survey Records Collection are exempt from disclosure to the general public under the Kentucky Open Records Act  pursuant to the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and related regulations, specifically, 16 USC 470w-3 and 36 CFR 800.11(c), the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 and related regulations, specifically, 16 USC 470aa-mm and 43 CFR 7.1 8, and KRS 61.871(1)(a)-(c) and (i)-(l). Murray State University Libraries are under no obligation to provide information unless we understand how it is to be used.

Policies & Procedures

Accessing Collection Policy

The applicant must be working on behalf of a Principle Investigator who is registered and qualified under the United States Secretary of the Interior’s standards for archeological work and approved by the Kentucky State Historic Preservation Office to work in the State of Kentucky. The applicant must complete and sign a confidentiality agreement prior to viewing the survey report(s).

Students working on a thesis or dissertation project, along with researchers with a specific research topic, may request access to the collection. The student, or researcher, must include with their confidentiality agreement a brief abstract describing the project’s objectives. A more descriptive proposal must be provided if the request is part of a class project conducted by university professor. The professor instructing the class must include with the confidentiality agreement the class goals, objectives, a list of names of students using the collection and the length of time the collection will be accessed by students.

Access to reports will not be granted to engineering consultants, developers, or others who do not have a full time archaeologist on staff. In cases where a trained archaeologist is on staff, the applicant must complete a confidentiality agreement, provide a detailed proposal on the project area in question and define why access to the survey report is essential to the project.

Land owners where surveyed archaeological sites exist may request reports on their property, however information on sites outside of the land owner’s property will not be disclosed. The land owner must complete and sign a confidentiality agreement prior to viewing the survey report(s).

The applicant must complete a confidentiality agreement for each survey report requested. Requests for multiple reports will be accepted but the Director of the Murray State University Archaeological Laboratory reserves the right to approve or reject such requests in part or whole.    

Requests for access may take up to 48 hours to be approved. Requests for multiple reports may take longer.

Procedures for Approving Access to Collection

  1. Applicant must first register and present a valid photo identification at the entrance of the Special Collections & Archives Department at Forrest C. Pogue Library. Student identification cards will be accepted to enter the library but not for access to reports.
  2. Applicant must present credentials (to be photocopied), complete a confidentiality agreement and abstract or proposal (if required).
  3. The completed confidentiality agreement shall be sent (scanned, faxed or hand delivered) to the Director of the Murray State University Archaeological Laboratory, or his/her appointed designee.
  4. A written approval, or rejection, signed by the Director of the Murray State University Archaeological Laboratory, or his/her appointed designee, shall be returned to the Special Collections & Archives Department and the applicant contacted and informed of the decision. There is no appeal process.
  5. Copies of the approved confidentiality agreement will be retained and kept on file at the Special Collections & Archives Department.
  6. Applicant will be required to sign the department’s register and present photo identification every time the report is being used. All rules governing the use of archival collections will be enforced. See “General Rules Governing Use of Archival Collections”. The staff of Special Collections & Archives reserves the right to check all bags, carrying cases, etc. prior to departure.
  7. Permission for access will be granted for up to six months after the date of approval, unless otherwise stated by the Director of the Murray State University Archaeological Laboratory.
  8. If a publication is forthcoming by the applicant, a permission to publish form must be completed and copy of that publication donated to the Murray State University Special Collections & Archives.