Protected Places: A Survey of Laws on Archaeological Site and Cave Location Confidentiality and Their Potential Impact on Library Reference Policies and Services

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Linda Zellmer


Librarians who work with maps and other forms of spatial information are often asked for information about the location of a place. These questions can range from the location of a village or farm where an ancestor lived to more cryptic questions, such as the location of the Garden of Eden based on its Biblical description. Most librarians will attempt to answer locational questions by directing users to resources such as gazetteers, atlases, maps and plat books. However, the locations of archaeological sites and caves are protected by Federal and state laws. This article provides a summary of Federal and state laws protecting archaeological sites and caves, the reasons for the laws, issues to consider when asked for locations of archaeological sites and caves, and additionally suggests a policy for dealing with users requesting information about archaeological sites and caves.



Earth Sciences, Library and Information Science, Other Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Social and Behavioral Sciences


archaeological sites; caves; library reference services; map collections; legal issues; library policies


Published: 2018-01-09 13:30


Academic Free License (AFL) 3.0