UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING ARCHAEOLOGICAL REPOSITORY
University of Wyoming Archaeological Repository
1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3431
Laramie, WY 82071
The University of Wyoming Archaeological Repository (UWAR) is the largest archaeological repository in the state and the only federal repository in Wyoming. It houses more than three million artifacts from over 15,000 sites representing all periods of prehistory and early history in Wyoming. These data form the basis for scholarly interpretations about human activity spanning over 11,500 years of occupation on the High Plains and Rocky Mountains.
Located in Laramie on the University of Wyoming (UW) campus, UWAR functions jointly under the UW Department of Anthropology and the Office of the Wyoming State Archaeologist (OWSA). The Department of Anthropology has been an archaeological repository for over 50 years. In addition to the Collections Manager, UWAR employs UW students and regularly takes interns from the UW Museum Studies minor program. The Collections Manager also teaches the Introduction to Archaeological Collections Management class. Training students helps UWAR properly curate artifact collections and also teaches future archaeologists about the importance of curation in the discipline.
The mission of UWAR is to curate and manage the archaeological collections and associated records of the UW Department of Anthropology, collections from public lands recovered during cultural resource management (CRM) activities, avocational archaeological societies, and other archaeological items donated to the repository. As steward for these fragile, non-renewable cultural resources, UWAR maintains the best collection management practices possible so Wyoming’s prehistoric and early historic cultural heritage is available in perpetuity for scientific research, public display, and education.
The Wyoming Department of State Parks and Cultural Resources and the University of Wyoming maintain a Memorandum of Understanding to ensure that Wyoming has a centralized repository for archaeological collections. To this end, UWAR is staffed and managed by the Wyoming Office of the State Archaeologist in a facility owned by the University of Wyoming. Management of archaeological collections is directed by federal regulation 36 CFR 79, the Curation of Federally Owned and Administered Collections. The code establishes definitions, standards, procedures and guidelines to be followed to preserve collections of prehistoric and historic material remains and associated records recovered under the authority of the Antiquities Act, the Reservoir Salvage Act, Section 110 of the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act.
Proper curation permits are required to be on file before submitting artifacts to UWAR. All projects, whether compliance or academic in nature, require completion of the UWAR Curation Agreement form. The UWAR Curation Agreement and the BLM MOU for Curatorial Services are available as links on this website. Other federal and state agencies will require other curation permits. To obtain federal or state collecting permits, contact the following agencies:
Wyoming Bureau of Land Management in Cheyenne, Wyoming at (307) 775-6108
Bureau of Reclamation in Casper, Wyoming at (307) 261-5671
State of Wyoming in Cheyenne, Wyoming at (307) 777-6629
United States Forest Service: contact the local District Ranger Office
Other useful links include the UWAR Donation Form, necessary for UWAR to accept any items from private lands, and UWAR Guidelines and Standards, a booklet which describes current UWAR curating procedures and fee structures.
UWAR is fully committed to providing collections access in accordance with its schedule of availability to qualified researchers, academic and educational institutions, and accredited museums. Please refer to the Collections Use Policy, where you can find more information about research access or loans, and the Destructive Testing Form, necessary for any testing or analyses that will modify a sample or object in any manner.