Date of Graduation

Fall 12-11-2020

Document Access

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Museum Studies


College of Arts and Sciences


Museum Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Nathan Dennis


Museums protect and preserve millions of objects from all over the world, including a large number of archaeological artifacts. However, not all of them are on display in galleries. Most archaeological collections are packed away in storage to be preserved and studied. Unfortunately, due to a lack of resources, many storage spaces are overcrowded and poorly managed. Archaeologists will not stop excavating, and deaccessioning is a controversial solution to what many museum professionals refer to as a curation crisis. Museums have to make these neglected and forgotten collections accessible to both professionals and the public. Museums must use a variety of methods to combat the crisis. The first step is to ensure that the collections are properly stored and preserved, as well as catalogued. Next, museums need to utilize the vast collection for educational and research purposes so that artifacts are no longer collecting dust and improving the field, especially for professional researchers. Finally, museums need to identify different ways to present the artifacts to the public. They can use the collections to teach people, show what they have in their care, and explain why the artifacts' history and ongoing conservation are essential for both cultural heritage and the local communities that the museums serve. Each museum's collection has its own needs, so any combination of these three tactics will allow the museums to fight the curation crisis they face.

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