These few boxes in the foreground are the site archive (the finds as well as excavation records and other important documentation) from two sites to the west of Fishbourne Roman Palace. We have stored them for around 15 years but always known that they don’t come from our collecting area. Instead the come from the collecting area of Chichester Museum (“The Novium”). It seems that these archives were given to Fishbourne Roman Palace in error and should actually have been deposited with The Novium .
The collecting area is, unsurprisingly, the area from which a museum collects archaeology. Every museum should have its own area. These should not overlap and there should be no gaps. In reality, it’s rarely as simple as that!
Anyway, we have been working with The Novium to try to transfer these archives from our collection to theirs, and today we finally completed the paperwork needed involved. It has taken several months in total. Transferring an archive is not a straightforward process and involves a lot of form-filling. It is important to create a clear record that the material was once owned by the Palace and has since been passed on to The Novium. This will avoid confusion in the future and so is worth it, even if in reality the archive has only moved a few yards from one end of our shared store to the other!!