U.S. Code of Federal Regulations

Regulations most recently checked for updates: Feb 02, 2023

§ 79.1 - Purpose.

(a) The regulations in this part establish definitions, standards, procedures and guidelines to be followed by Federal agencies to preserve collections of prehistoric and historic material remains, and associated records, recovered under the authority of the Antiquities Act (54 U.S.C. 320301-320303), the Reservoir Salvage Act(54 U.S.C. 312501-312508), section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S.C. 306101-306114) or the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm). They establish:

(1) Procedures and guidelines to manage and preserve collections;

(2) Terms and conditions for Federal agencies to include in contracts, memoranda, agreements or other written instruments with repositories for curatorial services;

(3) Standards to determine when a repository has the capability to provide long-term curatorial services; and

(4) Guidelines to provide access to, loan and otherwise use collections.

(b) The regulations in this part contain three appendices that provide additional guidance for use by the Federal Agency Official.

(1) Appendix A to these regulations contains an example of an agreement between a Federal agency and a non- Federal owner of material remains who is donating the remains to the Federal agency.

(2) Appendix B to these regulations contains an example of a memorandum of understanding between a Federal agency and a repository for long-term curatorial services for a federally-owned collection.

(3) Appendix C to these regulations contains an example of an agreement between a repository and a third party for a short-term loan of a federally-owned collection (or a part thereof).

(4) The three appendices are meant to illustrate how such agreements might appear. They should be revised according to the:

(i) Needs of the Federal agency and any non-Federal owner;

(ii) Nature and content of the collection; and

(iii) Type of contract, memorandum, agreement or other written instrument being used.

(5) When a repository has preexisting standard forms (e.g., a short-term loan form) that are consistent with the regulations in this part, those forms may be used in lieu of developing new ones.

[55 FR 37630, Sept. 12, 1990; 55 FR 41639, Oct. 12, 1990, as amended at 87 FR 22457, Apr. 15, 2022]

§ 79.2 - Authority.

(a) The regulations in this part are promulgated under 54 U.S.C. 302107 which requires that the Secretary of the Interior issue regulations ensuring that significant prehistoric and historic artifacts and associated records are deposited in an institution with adequate long-term curatorial capabilities. This requirement applies to artifacts and associated records subject to the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S.C. 300101 et seq.), the Reservoir Salvage Act (54 U.S.C. 312501-312508), and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm).

(b) In addition, the regulations in this part are promulgated pursuant to section 5 of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470dd) which gives the Secretary of the Interior discretionary authority to promulgate regulations for the:

(1) Exchange, where appropriate, between suitable universities, museums or other scientific or educational institutions, of archeological resources recovered from public and Indian lands under that Act; and

(2) Ultimate disposition of archeological resources recovered under that Act (16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm), the Antiquities Act (54 U.S.C. 320301-320303) or the Reservoir Salvage Act (54 U.S.C. 312501-312508).

(3) It further states that any exchange or ultimate disposition of resources excavated or removed from Indian lands shall be subject to the consent of the Indian or Indian tribe that owns or has jurisdiction over such lands.

[55 FR 37630, Sept. 12, 1990; 55 FR 41639, Oct. 12, 1990, as amended at 87 FR 22457, Apr. 15, 2022]

§ 79.3 - Applicability.

(a) Except as otherwise stated in this section, the regulations in this part apply to collections, as defined in § 79.4 of this part, that are excavated or removed under the authority of the Antiquities Act (54 U.S.C. 320301-320303), the Reservoir Salvage Act (54 U.S.C. 312501-312508), section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act (54 U.S.C. 306101-306114) or the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm). Such collections generally include those that are the result of a prehistoric or historic resource survey, excavation or other study conducted in connection with a Federal action, assistance, license, or permit. Such collections include those that are owned by the United States and for which a Federal agency has practical management authority, either directly or indirectly, as a result of that ownership; and those collections that are not owned by the United States but that are managed or controlled by a Federal agency pursuant to the laws cited in this paragraph (a).

(b) The regulations in this part apply to preexisting and new collections that meet the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section. However, the regulations shall not be applied in a manner that would supersede or breach material terms and conditions in any contract, grant, license, permit, memorandum, or agreement entered into by or on behalf of a Federal agency prior to the effective date of this regulation.

(c) Collections that are excavated or removed pursuant to the Antiquities Act (16 U.S.C. 431-433) remain subject to that Act, the Act's implementing rule (43 CFR part 3), and the terms and conditions of the pertinent Antiquities Act permit or other approval.

(d) Collections that are excavated or removed pursuant to the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (16 U.S.C. 470aa-mm) remain subject to that Act, the Act's implementing rules (43 CFR part 7, 36 CFR part 296, 18 CFR part 1312, and 32 CFR part 229), and the terms and conditions of the pertinent Archaeological Resources Protection Act permit or other approval.

(e) Any repository that is providing curatorial services for a collection subject to the regulations in this part must possess the capability to provide adequate long-term curatorial services, as set forth in § 79.9 of this part, to safeguard and preserve the associated records and any material remains that are deposited in the repository.

[55 FR 37630, Sept. 12, 1990; 55 FR 41639, Oct. 12, 1990, as amended at 87 FR 22457, Apr. 15, 2022]

§ 79.4 - Definitions.

As used for purposes of this part:

Associated records means original records (or copies thereof) that are prepared, assembled and document efforts to locate, evaluate, record, study, preserve or recover a prehistoric or historic resource. Some records such as field notes, artifact inventories and oral histories may be originals that are prepared as a result of the field work, analysis, and report preparation. Other records such as deeds, survey plats, historical maps and diaries may be copies of original public or archival documents that are assembled and studied as a result of historical research. Classes of associated records (and illustrative examples) that may be in a collection include, but are not limited to:

(1) Records relating to the identification, evaluation, documentation, study, preservation, or recovery of a resource (such as site forms, field notes, drawings, maps, photographs, slides, negatives, films, video and audio cassette tapes, oral histories, artifact inventories, laboratory reports, computer cards and tapes, computer disks and diskettes, printouts of computerized data, manuscripts, reports, and accession, catalog, and inventory records);

(2) Records relating to the identification of a resource using remote sensing methods and equipment (such as satellite and aerial photography and imagery, side scan sonar, magnetometers, subbottom profilers, radar, and fathometers);

(3) Public records essential to understanding the resource (such as deeds, survey plats, military and census records, birth, marriage and death certificates, immigration and naturalization papers, tax forms and reports);

(4) Archival records essential to understanding the resource (such as historical maps, drawings and photographs, manuscripts, architectural and landscape plans, correspondence, diaries, ledgers, catalogs, and receipts); and

(5) Administrative records relating to the survey, excavation, or other study of the resource (such as scopes of work, requests for proposals, research proposals, contracts, antiquities permits, reports, documents relating to compliance with section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (16 U.S.C. 470f), and National Register of Historic Places nomination and determination of eligibility forms).

Collection means material remains that are excavated or removed during a survey, excavation, or other study of a prehistoric or historic resource, and associated records that are prepared or assembled in connection with the survey, excavation, or other study.

Curatorial services means managing and preserving a collection according to professional museum and archival practices, including, but not limited to:

(1) Inventorying, accessioning, labeling, and cataloging a collection;

(2) Identifying, evaluating, and documenting a collection;

(3) Storing and maintaining a collection using appropriate methods and containers, and under appropriate environmental conditions and physically secure controls;

(4) Periodically inspecting a collection and taking such actions as may be necessary to preserve it;

(5) Providing access and facilities to study a collection; and

(6) Handling, cleaning, stabilizing, and conserving a collection in such a manner to preserve it.

Departmental Consulting Archeologist means the individual serving as the agent of the Secretary of the Interior in overseeing and coordinating the Department's archeological activities.

Federal Agency Official means any officer, employee or agent officially representing the secretary of the department or the head of any other agency or instrumentality of the United States having primary management authority over a collection that is subject to this part.

Indian lands has the same meaning as in § -.3(e) of uniform regulations 43 CFR part 7, 36 CFR part 296, 18 CFR part 1312, and 32 CFR part 229.

Indian tribe has the same meaning as in § -.3(f) of uniform regulations 43 CFR part 7, 36 CFR part 296, 18 CFR part 1312, and 32 CFR part 229.

Material remains means artifacts, objects, specimens, and other physical evidence that are excavated or removed in connection with efforts to locate, evaluate, document, study, preserve or recover a prehistoric or historic resource. Classes of material remains (and illustrative examples) that may be in a collection include, but are not limited to:

(1) Components of structures and features (such as houses, mills, piers, fortifications, raceways, earthworks, and mounds);

(2) Intact or fragmentary artifacts of human manufacture (such as tools, weapons, pottery, basketry, and textiles);

(3) Intact or fragmentary natural objects used by humans (such as rock crystals, feathers, and pigments);

(4) By-products, waste products or debris resulting from the manufacture or use of man-made or natural materials (such as slag, dumps, cores and debitage);

(5) Organic material (such as vegetable and animal remains, and coprolites);

(6) Human remains (such as bone, teeth, mummified flesh, burials, and cremations);

(7) Components of petroglyphs, pictographs, intaglios, or other works of artistic or symbolic representation;

(8) Components of shipwrecks (such as pieces of the ship's hull, rigging, armaments, apparel, tackle, contents, and cargo);

(9) Environmental and chronometric specimens (such as pollen, seeds, wood, shell, bone, charcoal, tree core samples, soil, sediment cores, obsidian, volcanic ash, and baked clay); and

(10) Paleontological specimens that are found in direct physical relationship with a prehistoric or historic resource.

Personal property has the same meaning as in 41 CFR 100-43.001-14. Collections, equipment (e.g., a specimen cabinet or exhibit case), materials and supplies are classes of personal property.

Provenience information means recorded data about the physical location of an object as it was found during a survey, excavation, or other study of a prehistoric or historic resource.

Public lands has the same meaning as in § -.3(d) of uniform regulations 43 CFR part 7, 36 CFR part 296, 18 CFR part 1312, and 32 CFR part 229.

Qualified museum professional means a person who possesses knowledge, experience and demonstrable competence in museum methods and techniques appropriate to the nature and content of the collection under the person's management and care, and commensurate with the person's duties and responsibilities. Standards that may be used, as appropriate, for classifying positions and for evaluating a person's qualifications include, but are not limited to, the following:

(1) The Office of Personnel Management's “Position Classification Standards for Positions under the General Schedule Classification System” (U.S. Government Printing Office, stock No. 906 - 028-00000-0 (1981)) are used by Federal agencies to determine appropriate occupational series and grade levels for positions in the Federal service. Occupational series most commonly associated with museum work are the museum curator series (GS/GM-1015) and the museum technician and specialist series (GS/GM-1016). Other scientific and professional series that may have collateral museum duties include, but are not limited to, the archivist series (GS/GM-1420), the archeologist series (GS/GM-193), the anthropologist series (GS/GM-190), and the historian series (GS/GM-170). In general, grades GS-9 and below are assistants and trainees while grades GS-11 and above are professionals at the full performance level. Grades GS-11 and above are determined according to the level of independent professional responsibility, degree of specialization and scholarship, and the nature, variety, complexity, type, and scope of the work.

(2) The Office of Personnel Management's “Qualification Standards for Positions under the General Schedule (Handbook X-118)” (U.S. Government Printing Office, stock No. 906-030-00000-4 (1986)) establish educational, experience and training requirements for employment with the Federal Government under the various occupational series. A graduate degree in museum science or applicable subject matter, or equivalent training and experience, and three years of professional experience are required for museum positions at grades GS-11 and above.

(3) The “Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation” (48 FR 44716, Sept. 29, 1983) provide technical advice about archeological and historic preservation activities and methods for use by Federal, State, and local Governments and others. One section presents qualification standards for a number of historic preservation professions. While no standards are presented for collections managers, museum curators or technicians, standards are presented for other professions (i.e., historians, archeologists, architectural historians, architects, and historic architects) that may have collateral museum duties.

(4) Copies of the Office of Personnel Management's standards, including subscriptions for subsequent updates, may be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC 20402. Copies may be inspected at the Office of Personnel Management's Library, 1900 E Street NW, Washington, DC, at any regional or area office of the Office of Personnel Management, at any Federal Job Information Center, and at any personnel office of any Federal agency. Copies of the “Secretary of the Interior's Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation” are available at no charge from the Interagency Resources Division, National Park Service, P.O. Box 37127, Washington, DC 20013-7127.

Religious remains means material remains that the Federal Agency Official has determined are of traditional religious or sacred importance to an Indian tribe or other group because of customary use in religious rituals or spiritual activities. The Federal Agency Official makes this determination in consultation with appropriate Indian tribes or other groups.

Repository means a facility such as a museum, archeological center, laboratory, or storage facility managed by a university, college, museum, other educational or scientific institution, a Federal, State, or local Government agency or Indian tribe that can provide professional, systematic, and accountable curatorial services on a long-term basis.

Repository Official means any officer, employee or agent officially representing the repository that is providing curatorial services for a collection that is subject to this part.

Tribal Official means the chief executive officer or any officer, employee or agent officially representing the Indian tribe.

[87 FR 22457, Apr. 15, 2022]