Committee for the Recovery of Archaeological Remains Search this
376 linear feet
The creation of the River Basin Surveys (RBS) grew out of preliminary work by the Committee for the Recovery of Archeological Remains, an ad hoc group of anthropologists sponsored by the American Anthropological Association, Society for American Archaeology, and the American Council of Learned Societies, with liaison members from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Research Council. The committeeʹs concern was the preservation of archeological evidence threatened by public works programs, especially the construction of dams and reservoirs, that were carried out after World War II.
The result of the committeeʹs work was a cooperative arrangement, called the Inter-Agency Salvage Program, among the Smithsonian, the National Park Service, the Corps of Engineers, many universities, and other public and private organizations to exchange information and finance and carry out salvage archeological work throughout the United States. The RBS was organized in 1946 to carry out the Smithsonianʹs part of the program. It was particularly active in field work in the Missouri Basin, states of the West Coast, Texas, and southeastern states. Initially, the arrangement was for the National Park Service to handle the financing of the work, using its own funds and requesting additional funds from
other agencies. In time, the Park Service bore virtually all direct costs in its own budget, providing the RBS with funds and making contracts with state and other organizations to carry out part of the archeological work. In the mid-1950s, the Park Service became increasingly involved in field work and took over some of the field offices of the RBS.
Through most of its existence, the RBS was an autonomous unit of the Bureau of American Ethnology. Headquarters were in Washington, D. C. and from that office were carried out many of the projects not within areas of field offices. There was a major field office in Lincoln, Nebraska, that directed work in the Missouri Basin, and there were also field offices for relatively short periods of time in Austin, Texas, and Eugene, Oregon, that directed work in Texas and parts of the West Coast. When the Bureau was disbanded in 1965, the RBS became a unit of the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology (Department of Anthropology since 1968). In 1966, the headquarters were moved to Lincoln;
and, in 1968, the RBS was placed administratively under the director of the National Museum of Natural History. In 1969, the RBS was transferred to the National Park Service, but provision was made for the deposit of its records and manuscripts in the Smithsonian.
List of sites
RECORDS OF THE WASHINGTON, D.D., OFFICE, including (1) registers of transactions, 1947-1966; (2) annual reports, 1947-1964; (3) administrative and reference file, 1936-1966; (4) correspondence, 1948-1966; (5) material relating to the coordination of archeological salvage and the construction of dams, 1945-1952; (6) correspondence with the National Park Service, 1945-1965; (7) correspondence with cooperating or concerned agencies and individuals, 1945-1963; (8) records relating to the Committee for the Recovery of Archaeological Remains, 1945-1965; (9) site files for areas outside the Missouri Basin, 1928; 1947-1955; (10) notebooks, 1942-1956;
(11) reports of fluted points, 1934-1959; (12) data on employees, 1946-1965; (13) miscellany, 1939-1968; (14) miscellaneous photographs and other material, 1947-1963; RECORDS OF THE LINCOLN, NEBRASKA, OFFICE, including (15) correspondence with Frank Harold Hanna Roberts, Jr., 1946-1962; (16) correspondence with Waldo Rudolph Wedel, 1946-1955; (17) correspondence regarding courtesies, honors, and material relating largely to sites outside the Missouri Basin, 1947-1964; (18) correspondence with Theodore E. White, 1947-1954; (19) correspondence and other material relating to the Bureau of Reclamation, 1947-1960; (20) correspondence with the National Park Service, 1945-1960;
(21) state file, 1946-1955; (22) memoranda of agreement and contracts, 1955-1968; (23) correspondence with government agencies, 1946-1954; (24) correspondence with the Corps of Engineers and the National Park Service, 1955-1969; (25) quarterly progress reports to the Missouri Basin Field Committee, 1947-1967; (26) annual reports to the Bureau of American Ethnology and other general reports, 1956-1969; (27) notes on telephone conversations, 1953-1969; (28) notes on staff meetings, trips, and conferences, 1952-1964; (29) notices of the Corps of Engineers, 1965-1968; (30) personnel data cards, 1947-1967;
(31) "reservoir file," 1946-1962; (32) progress reports and field correspondence, 1946-1968; (33) account books, 1950-1966; (34) library catalog cards, n.d.; (35) miscellaneous administrative records; (36) maps (state file), 1909-1960; (37) data regarding nonarcheological dendrochronological specimens, 1958-1964; (38) radiocarbon date prints of field photographs, 1946-1961; (39) miscellany, n.d.; (40) site files, ca. 1947-1969; (41) survey data forms from cooperating institutions and archeologists, 1949-1965; (42) reflex negatives of site field material; (43) prints of field photographs, 1946-1969; (44) negatives of field photographs, 1946-1969;
(45) prints of laboratory photographs, 1951-1969; (46) negatives of laboratory photographs, 1951-1969; (47) field slides, 1941-1969; (48) laboratory slides, 1952-1967; (49) large negatives and prints, n.d.; (50) illustrations for exhibit and publications, n.d.; (51) maps and illustrations for publications, 1940s-1950s; (52) maps; RECORDS OF THE AUSTIN, TEXAS, OFFICE, including (53) coespondence and administrative records, 1947-1952; (54) alphabetical file, 1945-1969; (55) site files, 1947-1955; (56) photographs 1939-1955; records of the Eugene, Oregon, Office, including (57) general file, 1947-1952; Carl F. Millerʹs files, 54) alphabetical file, 1945-1969; (55) site files, 1947-1955; (56) photographs 1939-1955; RECORDS OF THE EUGENE, OREGON, OFFICE, including (57) general file, 1947-1952; CARL F. MILLER'S FILES,including (58) correspondence, 1947-1965; (59) field notebooks, 1947-1962; (60) documents relating to Work Projects Administration archeology in Alabama, 1938-1940; (61) RBS site files, 1947-1963; (62) material concerning the John H. Kerr (Buggs Island) Reservoir, 1949-1961; (63) miscellany, 1931-1964; (64) organizational file, 1949-1965; (65) subject file, 1930-1965; (66) drafts of manuscripts, bibliographies, and notes, 1930s-1960s; (67) illustrative and cartographic material, 1940s-1960s; (68) photographs, 1936-1962; HAROLD A. HUSCHER'S FILES, including (69) periodic reports, 1958-1963; (70) archeological reports, 1958-1963;
(71) correspondence, 1958-1965; (72) alphabetical file, 1958-1965; (73) miscellaneous archeological forms and lists, n.d.; (74) writings by Harold A. Huscher, 1962-1965; (75) administrative and financial records, 1958-1963; (76) photographic records, 1958-1963; (77) mounted photographic prints, 1958-1960; (78) negatives for mounted prints, 1958-1960 (79) miscellaneous photographs, 1951-1963; (80) color slides, 1958-1963; (81) reflex negatives of textual records; (82) newspaper clippings, 1958-1964; (83) miscellaneous material relating to the Missouri Basin Project, 1956-1965; (84) site files, 1958-1963; (85) cartographic and illustrative material, 1958-1963; HARVARD G. AYERS'S FILE, including (86) records of a survey of the New River, 1965
The files of the central office and field offices include many administrative files. Also included are several site files that include photographs and completed forms for data collected in the field and the laboratory. Mostly these include material collected by Smithsonian employees. There are also materials collected by archeologists outside the Smithsonian. For the most, however, this later type of material was retained by the many institutions that sponsored the work. The files of Harold A. Huscher and Carl Miller were separated because of their continued work on the data they contain.
Huscherʹs material largely concerns work along the Chattahoochee River. Millerʹs files mainly concern work in Virginia and North Carolina. Both of these menʹs papers also include material concerning some of their earlier work. Millerʹs papers, for example, include data concerning his archeological work for the Work Projects Administration. Similarly, some of Director Frank Harold Hanna Robertʹs documents concerning work not related to the RBS have been incorporated in the records of the Washington office.
Much of the material regarding sites is controlled by the system for designating sites developed by the Smithsonian. This consists of a three-part code that includes a number to indicate the state, an alphabetical abbreviation to indicate county, and a number for each site within a county.
Record AAK 7897 is a second RBS records added in order to complete the indexing of correspondents.
River Basin Surveys Records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Museum Support Center, Suitland, Maryland
Archeology--dendrochronology--radiocarbon dating Search this