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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.

2016–2017 Summary

Visitors tour the ACFThe ACF issued 22 accession numbers during the previous fiscal year for collections from projects in Alameda, Lake, Marin, Modoc, Napa, Sacramento, San Francisco, Santa Clara, and Sonoma Counties.

Public-service activities by the ACF in the past year included hosting several school-group tours of the facility as part of the ASC’s Interpretive and Outreach Services. The ACF also provided materials and artifacts for display at the “Washington Street: The Heart and Soul of Stockton Chinatown” exhibit at the San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum.

Collections housed at the ASC are available for study or loan to qualified individuals and groups.


Old excavation notesTwo student interns gained practical experience working at the ACF in the Fall semester of 2016. Undergraduate students Jaycob Barros and Ceri Larking began their internships by completing a status survey of the ACF collections. Later in the semester, the interns were each assigned a collection to inventory. They physically compared the objects in each collection to the catalog on record, made corrections and entered them into a spreadsheet, and brought the packaging, labeling, and documentation of each collection up to current curation standards. As a final step in upgrading each collection, the interns digitized all of the associated paper documentation. Through this process, both interns gained some basic knowledge of archaeological artifacts as well as a better understanding of collections management.

Ceri and Jaycob both returned as interns in the Spring 2017 semester, joined by graduate student Chelsie Brokenshire. The spring semester interns were each assigned several collections to inventory and upgrade. One community volunteer, Kathy Curley, assisted us in digitizing paper files.


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