Visiting us

The University of Sheffield seeks to actively promote and publicise the availability of our skeletal collections to external researchers. By doing so we intend to encourage collaborative research and justify the curation of such material.

We can accommodate external researchers throughout the year, but we request you notify us of your visit well in advance (2 months) so we can plan your visit to our lab and provide workspace. Please note that during summer months (June-September) some of our students study the collections and are given priority of access to workspace and collections.

Access policy

External applications for access to the University of Sheffield skeletal collections must be made to the Demonstrator in Human Osteology. This can be done by completing an application form (’Application for Research Access and Destructive Sampling’) and sending it to us via e-mail (osteologycurator@sheffield.ac.uk). External applications are encouraged, but must be accompanied by supporting details of the research/educational project for which the remains are required. External students requesting access will be required to have their application countersigned by their supervisor. Application forms can be found here (Word file).

As part of our archiving procedures, it is requested that copies of written work resulting from research undertaken on skeletal remains from the University of Sheffield collections be provided upon completion of that project. These will be stored with our collections archives to ensure that a continuous record of research is maintained. We also request that any publication using the data collected acknowledge the use of our collections.

Requests for destructive sampling will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and in accordance with published guidelines (CofE/EH 2005; DCMS 2005). All requests for destructive sampling should begin with an initial enquiry sent to our curator email (osteologycurator@sheffield.ac.uk). If we are happy to support the request you will be asked to fill in Part A and B of our application form (above).

Requests for the transfer of human remains from the Department of Archaeology will only be considered in exceptional circumstances. Please direct all enquiries to our curator email (osteologycurator@sheffield.ac.uk).

It is expected that all analysis and research will be undertaken at the Department of Archaeology, where possible, using the available laboratories and facilities. Staff and students at The University of Sheffield follow established professional guidelines for the treatment of human skeletal material (BABAO 2008; 2010), and visitors are expected to follow these as well. A list of guidelines can be found here (PDF: guidelines for conduct)

Acknowledgements: This access policy was created with consideration of current access policies from the British Museum, the Museum of London, Bournemouth University and BARC: Bradford University.