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David A. Fredrickson Archaeological Collections Facility

The David A. Fredrickson Archaeological Collections Facility (ACF) is one of the largest such facilities in northern California. It contains more than 500 individual collections that are used for research and education. Although the ACF building does not fully meet 36CFR79 standards (it has no climate control), it is alarmed, staffed, has a fire-suppression system, and is supported by an endowment of over $1,000,000 from curation fees. The facility consists of over 3,500 square feet of curation space and is currently accepting collections from sites in northern and central California.


The ACF at Sonoma State University houses and maintains Northern California prehistoric and historic-era archaeological collections and their supporting documentation as educational, scholarly, and heritage resources. At ACF collections are:

  • maintained in perpetuity in a stable environment
  • made available to students, scholars, and the general public for research and educational display, in accordance with ACF’s policies
  • considered a resource for the future

For collection and curation information, please contact Sandra Massey.

2014–2015 Summary

Visitors tour the ACFThe ACF issued 30 accession numbers during the past year for projects from Alameda, Calaveras, Lake, Mendocino, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Sonoma counties.

Collections housed at the ASC are available for study or loan to qualified individuals and groups. The ACF received one visiting researcher in the past year, and provided loans of materials curated at ACF to the Healdsburg Museum and Sonoma County Museum. The ACF was also visited by several community members and non-researching professionals, including a forensic archaeologist affiliated with the Central Identification Laboratory of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC-CIL).

Public service offerings by the ACF in the past year included hosting several school group tours of the facility as part of the ASC’s Interpretive Outreach Services (IOS). The ACF also provided materials and artifacts for a number of IOS presentations and displays both here at Sonoma State University and at off-campus locations.


The ACF had four student interns this year. Julia Franco in the Fall term, and Doshia Caradine, Lauren Carriere, and Crista Shere in the Spring. Julia, Doshia, and Crista were assigned several collections to inventory. The collections were physically compared to the catalog on record, corrections made and entered into a spreadsheet, and the collections brought up to current curation standards. In this way, the student gains a preliminary knowledge of artifacts as well as a better understanding of collections management.

In the Spring term Lauren Carriere created a set of artifact-filled “teaching trunks”, a lesson plan, and a PowerPoint presentation for the use of ASC staff in support of our Interpretation and Outreach Program. The trunks and presentation materials are designed for late elementary school students, and offer a hands-on learning opportunity for students learning about California prehistory and history.


A Microsoft Access database system to catalog artifacts from mid-19th to early-20th-century archaeological sites.