Archaeology Collections - Our Partners

The KU Biodiversity Institute Division of Archaeology serves as a curation facility for several federal agencies. The collections continue to be owned and administered by the federal agency while the collections are stored with the BI archaeology department. Working with our federal partners strengthens collections available for research and public programming. The agency and BI staff work collaboratively to achieve the goals of Code of Federal Regulations, 36 CFR Part 79. (National Park Service website). This sets forth procedures and guidelines for the care of federal-owned collections.

BI Archaeology also curates collection for Department of the Interior agencies which have additional guidelines as part of the Department of Interior Museum Property Policy (PDF)

Our partners include:

U.S. Army Corp of Engineers

Major flooding of the Missouri River in the early 1940s brought the concept of flood control measures to a national level. The result was the Flood Control Act of 1944, also known as the Pick-Sloan Plan, which coordinated plans by the Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation to construct reservoirs for the entire Missouri River Basin as means to control flooding.

Within the state of Kansas, 24 reservoirs were created by dams constructed over major waterways. Included are Kanopolis (1948); Fall River (1949); Cedar Bluff (1950); Toronto (1960); Pomona (1962); Tuttle Creek (1963); John Redmond, Council Grove, Milford, (1964); Wilson (1965); Perry, Elk City (1966); Marion (1968); Melvern (1970); Clinton (1977); and Hillsdale, Big Hill, El Dorado (1981). Within the Kansas City metropolitan area, 3 reservoirs were constructed, including Blue Springs (1988), Longview (1985), and Smithville (1977).

Under contract with the US Army Corps of Engineers, the University of Kansas conducted salvage investigations at several of the Kansas Lakes beginning in the 1960s.

Guide to the Kanopolis Reservoir Collection (PDF)

Guide to the Melvern Reservoir Collection (PDF)

Guide to the Milford Reservoir Collection (PDF)

Guide to the Perry Reservoir Collection (PDF) 

Guide to the Tuttle Creek Reservoir Collection (PDF)

Bureau of Reclamation

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation did its part to create multipurpose dams in Kansas, all of them in western Kansas: Cedar Bluff (1950); Kirwin (1955); Webster (1956); Lovewell (1957); Norton, Cheney (1964); and Glen Elder/Waconda (1967).

Bureau of Indian Affairs

Oahe Dam was constructed over the Missouri River from 1948 to 1959. The resulting reservoir is the 4th largest artificial lake in the United States, stretching 231 miles from just north of Pierre, South Dakota to Bismarck, North Dakota. As a result of the dam’s construction, prime agricultural and forested lands were inundated, the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation and the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation lost thousands of acres and the associated traditions and economies, and hundreds of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites were destroyed.

Under agreements between the University of Kansas and the National Park Service, and in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution River Basin Surveys, Carlyle Smith directed field investigations at the Talking Crow site (39BF3) in the summers of 1950, 1951 and 1952. Talking Crow was one site impacted by the construction of the Oahe Lake. Smith also conducted investigations at other sites within the Missouri River Basin, including the Spain site (39LM301) in 1953, the Two Teeth (39BF204) and Cadotte (39HE202) sites in 1955, and the Stricker (39LM1) site in 1959.