Collecting Archaeology

Collecting Archaeology

West Berkshire Museum is the collecting museum for archaeological archives derived from any site researched or investigated within the unitary authority of West Berkshire. 

Archives can contain field notes and records, site plans, drawings, photographs and finds, including:
– animal bones and human skeletons
– metal objects such as jewellery and personal ornaments, weapons, tools, vessels, locks and keys, and fittings for furniture and buildings
– pottery, tile, glass, flint, stonework and building materials
– worked objects of wood, ivory, and recycled animal bone
– slag and other manufacturing waste
– soil samples

Types of archaeological site
The Museum holds archives from a wide range of different types of site. From scatters of Mesolithic flint, Bronze Age hoards, Roman burial grounds, Medieval villages, market towns, Civil War battlefields, to 20th century Peace Camps.

Why do we collect this material?
These collections of objects can tell us how people lived in the past, the things they used, the way they farmed, what they ate and cooked, what they wore.

The museum regularly gets requests to view particular objects for further research.  Recent requests have included examining a Bronze Age dagger from Charlton Down, which had originally been wrapped in fabric before being buried, and research into the care of leprosy sufferers from the Medieval Litten Cemetery in Newbury. Sometimes, technological advancements mean that old archives can be reinvestigated, bringing to light new information.

These archives are our heritage which everyone has a right to access. The Museum safeguards public access and promotes engagement through a comprehensive programme of events and exhibitions. Of course, these archives are also our legacy and we have a responsibility to preserve them for future generations. The Museum commits to storing and providing access to West Berkshire’s archaeological archives in perpetuity.


Archaeology department personnel

More information and how to make a deposit:  Archaeology department

To deposit a site archive please fill in a notification form.

Download the West Berkshire Museum’s Selection and retention guidelines.

Download the procedures on the transfer of an archive and our collecting area.

To enquire about archives within our Collection, please email

To see upcoming events, please view our What’s On page.


Conducting your own archaeological research or commissioning an investigation as part of development?
Contact the Archaeology Service, who maintain and enhance the West Berkshire Historic Environment Record and
provide archaeological advice. Information about the services they offer and the data they hold can be found online here:

Have you found something interesting that you think may be an archaeological object?  Not sure what it is?
The Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) visits the museum once a month when you can bring in your finds to be identified.  Please visit the What’s on page to see when the FLO is next visiting the museum.


Right hand image: Dr Susanna Harris from University of Glasgow, examining a Bronze Age dagger.