Below, you will find upcoming courses for continuing your professional education that have been certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists. Read more about the CPE Certification Program here.



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Addressing Orphaned Collections: A Practical Approach

February 26 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Danielle Benden is owner of Driftless Pathways, LLC, a small museum consulting company near Madison, Wisconsin.  She provides guidance on collections planning and rehabilitation projects including the design/redesign of curation facilities, develops interpretive exhibits, and offers professional development training for small museums and historical societies. From 2007-2016, she served as the Curator of Anthropology at UW-Madison, where she taught Archaeological Curation and Field Methods courses and managed the departmental collections. Ms. Benden has nearly 20 years of archaeological fieldwork experience, and currently serves as co-director of the Trempealeau Archaeology Project.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Master of Science in Museum and Field Studies with an archaeology emphasis from the University of Colorado-Boulder.

Ms. Benden is the current Chair of SAA’s Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation and serves on the Archaeological Collections Consortium. This work puts her at the forefront of the most current issues surrounding archaeological curation.



Orphaned collections are groups of objects and/or associated records with unclear ownership that have been abandoned.  Some may have been left with limited documentation upon retirement in academia; others were collected as part of a CRM project; yet others may result from a museum shutting its doors or an agency that does not know it is the rightful owner of a particular collection. Whatever the case, orphaned collections affect every sector of archaeology. This seminar will provide practical, step-by step guidance for reconciling orphaned collections and will focus on how we can prevent creating new ones. A resource guide that outlines specific criteria and procedures for determining ways to resolve orphaned collections is provided to participants.

This online seminar is intended for students who are nearing graduation, entering the professional world of archaeology, or considering a job managing archaeological collections; CRM firm employees including management who bid on, supervise, and provide oversight of archaeological projects as well as those who are specifically charged with managing collections after excavation; individuals who care for  collections in museums, universities, and other curatorial facilities; and government/agency personnel who are tasked with oversight of collections in Federal and non-Federal repositories.



  1. Provide attendees with a framework by which to understand, discuss, and remedy problems associated with orphaned archaeological collections.
  2. Teach participants about their roles, responsibilities, and rights as they relate to orphaned collections.
  3. Offer solutions and resources for resolving issues and concerns associated with orphaned collections.


Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members


Please visit the event website below for more information and to register. All times are in ET.


February 26
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm




Society for American Archaeology