Archaeological Project Archives

Lincoln Museum is the repository for archaeological project archives in Lincolnshire, from commercial archaeology to research excavations and community projects.

Lincolnshire has a long history of archaeological enquiry, from early surveys of its monuments by 16th century antiquarians such as William Camden and John Leland, and subsequently through records made by local investigators such as William Stukeley, Thomas Pownall and Thomas Sympson. In 1945 the Lincoln Archaeological Research Committee became the first organised, professional body to study Lincoln's earliest history. Today, hundreds of archaeological projects are carried out in Lincolnshire by professional archaeological contractors, universities, private researchers and community groups, ranging from vast excavations taking years to complete to test pits in people's gardens.

If you have an enquiry regarding professional or community archaeological fieldwork, in particular the process by which the resulting finds and documentary archives are deposited with the museum, please contact us. Our 'Archaeological Archive Deposition Guidelines' form part of the Lincolnshire Archaeological Handbook, and set out the process and our requirements for depositing archaeological project archives with the museum. The latest version of our guidelines and related forms can be found in the downloads box on the right hand side of this page.

If you wish to apply for a museum site code and accession number at the outset of a project, please complete a 'Site Notification Form' and email it to the address on the form. Please note that you must allow up to seven days (excluding bank holidays) for the museum to process the details.

Project Archives may be deposited at the museum stores six times a year. This is usually the first full week of February, April, June, August, October and December. Please contact us to make an appointment and to check the available dates.

The museum charges for the deposition of archaeological project archives. For complete details of our charging policy see section 17.11 of our Archaeological Archive Deposition Guidelines. Please note, Lincolnshire County Council reserves the right to increase these charges as part of its annual fees and charges review. We recommend that you cost projects accordingly and include contingency within your project budget for potential changes.  

The charges for 1 April 2024 - 31 March 2025 (inclusive of VAT) are:

  • 'Full size' bulk finds box - £176.50
  • 'Half size' bulk finds box or 'skull' box - £88
  • 'Skeleton' box - £353
  • Documentary box A3 - £132
  • Documentary box A4 or plan tube - £88
  • Plan box A0 - £265
  • Registered finds, stonework and any other finds in bespoke packaging are charged at an equivalent bulk box volume

The fees for the deposition of project archives resulting from community funded or not-for-profit projects are subject to the discretion of the management team and will be considered on a case-by-case basis after consultation prior to deposition. 

Please note, for any depositions comprising a high volume of material, where the total charge will exceed £10,000, the museum will issue a cost estimate for information, following the receipt of a proposed deposition list, prior to the material being deposited.

Box sizes accepted by Lincolnshire County Council are detailed in the Archaeological Archive Deposition Guidelines. Project Archives must be deposited in the correct box sizes to fit into the museum's storage systems. A penalty for depositng non-standard box sizes will be applied after deposition if this is not discussed in advance, and this is charged at the equivalent storage volume. 

When a deposited archive hasn't fully met the required standard, contractors will be asked to make amends. If the archive is not accepted for a second time then a penalty will be charged for staff time in administering any further changes. For the financial year 2024/25 this is £40 per hour.