Regional SMART workshops – Dates announced!

Are you a non-specialist working or volunteering with archaeological collections and archives? Would you like to learn more about how to manage archaeological material and use archaeological collections to engage and inspire people of all ages?

As part of the SMART project, SMA is running 4 regional workshops in 2019 and 2020. They are primarily designed to meet the needs of those people working in museums (including volunteers) who want to gain a better understanding of how to care for, manage and unlock the potential of archaeological collections in their museums, and particularly for those who are less-experienced, or for whom archaeology might not be their primary area of expertise.

The dates for the workshops are:

  • North-west: 19th November 2019 at The People’s History Museum, Manchester
  • South-west: 4th December 2019 at The Royal Albert
  • Memorial Museum, Exeter
  • North-east: 17th January 2020 at The Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle
  • South-east: 6th February 2020 at the Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth

We have 20 spaces and the workshops are free to attend with lunch and refreshments provided. A travel bursary of £50 is available for each attendee. Click here for more information

New opportunities to share and develop museum archaeology skills – apply now

Do you work in a museum with archaeology collections, but no access to specialist expertise? Or are you an experienced museum archaeologist keen to share your archaeology knowledge, develop your leadership and gain new insight into the broader sector?

As part of the SMART project, The Society for Museum Archaeology is looking for participants for a new skills-sharing programme, organised in partnership with the South East Museum Development programme.

For more information, click here.



 The Society for Museum Archaeology (SMA) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded £49,413 by Arts Council England (ACE) in response to its recent application to the ACE Subject Specialist Networks Funding Programme, 2018-20.

The funding award will be used to deliver the SMART Project (Society for Museum Archaeology Resources and Training Project) that will:

  • Enable museum staff and volunteers to develop the skills to work with archaeological collections proactively and confidently across collections care, interpretation and public access.
  • Connect museum staff and volunteers with subject specialist expertise in order to facilitate knowledge exchange, and strengthen expertise in museum archaeology.
  • Ensure toolkits and guidelines are updated, and readily accessible to museum staff and volunteers through the SMA website, and those of other key stakeholders.

This will be achieved through:

  • A review of museum archaeology collections care and management standards to ensure they are updated and easily digested resources for all museum staff and volunteers working with archaeology collections.
  • The provision of free training workshops with travel bursaries for attendees, covering the key skills required for archaeological collections care and interpretation, with an emphasis on use of archaeological collections for public and community engagement.
  • The development of a peer networking and mentoring programme.

The £49,413 investment in the SMART Project represents a step-change for the Society in its ability to address in a practical way the challenges facing those charged with the care of archaeology collections: these challenges have been brought into sharp focus by the survey work SMA has been doing on behalf of Historic England over the last 2-3 years (see below).

The overall impact of this training programme will be to help museum staff to acquire and develop the necessary skills to unlock the potential of archaeological collections for a wide range of audiences. The project will also enable SMA to reach more non-specialists, and to promote its role as a source of advice and support to all those responsible for curating archaeology collections regardless of their background or areas of expertise.

Duncan Brown, Chair of SMA said:

“The SMART project is the culmination of years of work by the SMA in raising the profile of archaeology in our museums. Curatorial expertise is required to make those collections fully accessible and the SMART project will provided much needed training across the whole sector. This exciting, innovative project aims to work with volunteers, as well as museum professionals and provide a network of support that will secure the future of our archaeology collections for years to come. The success of this application is testament to the dedication and hard work of SMA committee members, who deserve huge recognition and congratulations.”

 Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said:

‘We are delighted to be supporting this vital work by the Society for Museum Archaeology through our Subject Specialist Networks Project Fund.  We support Subject Specialist Networks (SSNs) to develop the knowledge and expertise associated with specialist collections and to help more museums connect with each other and with their visitors.  By sharing their skills with other museum staff and volunteers, SMA will be helping to open up collections and allow us all to know and understand our past.”

Society for Museum Archaeology/Historic England (Annual Survey of Museums Collecting Archaeology, 2016 and 2017):

Publicly Accessible Repositories for Archaeological Archives

Read the definition produced by SMA  here


SMA Newsletter 59- Summer 2016SMA NEWS

To promote the interests of archaeology in museums throughout the United Kingdom