Research Access


Unless otherwise prohibited by prior agreement, all archaeological materials and ancestral remains in the LOA collections are potentially available for scientific study.

In all cases where detailed analysis of LOA collections is proposed, LOA will ensure that the interested indigenous peoples are notified in writing and that any restrictions on the research are complied with.  Researchers wishing to study/analyze archaeological materials under the care of LOA must notify, in  writing, the respective indigenous peoples of the researchers proposed research.   LOA can provide a letter template and list of relevant indigenous peoples that must be contacted.


Access to Collections

The LOA Manager administers access to the LOA collections of archaeological materials and their related documentation.  Indigenous peoples and researchers, including University students registered in senior undergraduate or graduate courses, may have supervised access to the LOA collections and related documentation.  Members of the general public are not allowed access to the collections or documentation.

Researchers should notify the LOA Manager of their interest in working with specific materials curated by LOA and provide, as precisely as possible, a list of the materials to be viewed/examined; research methods proposed and the purpose of the research.  Artifact descriptions and photographs can be viewed online by the researcher on the Reciprocal Research Network ( as an aid to preparing the request.  Documentation collections are being accessioned into an online database (

Duplication of archived documentation may be restricted pursuant to the Copyright Act, R.S. C. 1985, c. C-42, and relevant UBC policies and guidelines.

After applicable permissions have been obtained (refer Policies and Procedures Section 15: Analysis) the LOA requires a minimum of one week’s prior notification to arrange an appointment with a knowledgeable staff member to assist the researcher with access to archaeological materials, ancestral remains and related documentation curated by the LOA.

Materials curated in the LOA facilities at MOA are subject to standard museum security measures. LOA will endeavor at all times to ensure that the materials under study in its facilities are accorded dignity and respect.



 Who considers requests for permission to study material from the LOA collections?

Requests for permission to study material from the collections in the LOA are considered by the LOA Committee and relevant indigenous peoples.   Requests should be made in writing to the LOA Director or LOA Manager.

What factors affect LOA’s decision?

Factors affecting the approval of research requests include:  the approval of applicable indigenous peoples; the purpose of the research; the condition of the material; any conditions requested by the indigenous peoples involved; the duration of the research and whether or not the research will be conducted in the laboratories of the LOA at UBC.

Notification of Indigenous Peoples

Visiting researchers applying to conduct detailed analysis of artifacts under the care of the LOA must notify, in writing, the respective indigenous peoples of the researcher’s proposed research. LOA will provide a list of relevant indigenous peoples to the researcher and LOA requires copies of all communications between the researchers and indigenous peoples before the research may proceed.

Any procedures or restrictions placed on the research by indigenous peoples will be adhered to.

How long does the approval process take?

Requests for permission to research will be reviewed by the LOA committee at its next monthly meeting (September to May).  Approvals from relevant indigenous peoples may take longer.

What information should accompany the initial request for permission to research?

The research request should include the following:

  • contact information for correspondence
  • name of institution
  • purpose of the research
  • specific list of site numbers and material requested (artifacts, documentation, photographs).  Visiting researchers must determine as precisely as possible the materials to be examined.
  • how the material will be used in the research (e.g. measured, photographed, drawn)
  • dates requested for access to the collections

How will researcher know if the request is approved?

When a request is approved, the LOA Manager will send a letter or email message stating approval is given and any conditions placed by the indigenous peoples and the final list of material approved for research.  After the letter is sent, an Agreement will be drawn up for the material that will indicate the responsibilities of the researcher.

Who should receive copies of the research report?

LOA requires that researchers deposit a digital or print copy of any written report, publication or poster resulting from the study or analysis of archaeological materials or ancestral remains in LOA’s collections with LOA and with the relevant indigenous peoples.

How much notice should the researcher give LOA of visits to conduct approved research?

Once permission to research has been received from the LOA Manager, LOA requests a minimum of one week’s prior notification of a planned visit to ensure that a knowledgeable individual will be available to assist the researcher.