Curatorial Facility Certification

Artifacts from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Archeological CollectionsThe Curatorial Facility Certification Program ensures that facilities meet current museum standards pertinent to the care and management of held-in-trust collections.

Archeological investigations on non-federal public lands in Texas yield a profusion of artifacts. Literally millions of these pieces of our heritage, such as prehistoric stone tools and pottery, together with related documents, now reside in museums and other repositories across the state. By law, however, the state of Texas owns them.

The Antiquities Code of Texas designates the Texas Historical Commission (THC) as the entity charged with ensuring the proper care and management of archeological collections obtained under a Texas Antiquities Permit on non-federal public lands. These public lands include lands owned by the state of Texas or by political subdivisions of the state, such as cities, counties, school districts, and other special districts. Because the THC is a small agency and cannot possibly house and care for all the collections, it transfers stewardship of them to curatorial facilities across the state.

To make certain these held-in-trust collections are cared for properly, the THC has initiated a certification program for curatorial facilities. The Curatorial Facility Certification Program ensures that the facilities meet current museum standards pertinent to the care and management of collections. The ultimate goal of the certification program is the preservation of Texas' irreplaceable archeological collections for future research or display in museums.

Please refer to the Forms section for the Curatorial Facility Certification Program application, the Handbook regarding the program requirements, and additional program documents. For more information, please refer to the Curatorial Facility Certification FAQ.

Note: All curatorial facilities wishing to continue to accept state-associated, held-in-trust collections must be certified.



Curatorial Facility Program established

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  • This arrow point made of Tecovas jasper was found during the 1973–74 Mackenzie Reservoir Archeological Project and is now housed at the Panhandle Plains Historical Museum in Canyon. Since many similar points were found together, Deadman’s Shelter in Swisher County is the type site for the Deadman’s arrow point. (Acc# R1999.27.31.284, Cat# 41SW23.799, Permit# 39)