The artifacts housed at Archaeological Services have been collected through surveys, excavations, and donations from private collectors. The provincial archaeological collection contains artifacts associated with thousands of years of human habitation. These artifacts differ from most museum artifacts in that they have been recovered from archaeological contexts.
Paper documents and other records related to New Brunswick archaeological research also form part of Archaeological Services’ collections. These include field documents, such as catalogues and drawings, as well as photographic records, slides, prints, negatives, digital images, electronic databases, maps, and other spatial data. These records and associated artifacts are studied by staff archaeologists at Archaeological Services, First Nations researchers, academic researchers and consultants.
As of August 19, 2010, the Heritage Conservation Act requires that all archaeological objects found in New Brunswick are owned by the Crown, with objects of Aboriginal origin held in trust for First Nations. The Act requires that any archaeological objects found must be reported as soon as possible to Archaeological Services. Artifacts of a sensitive nature are stored under special circumstances as indicated by First Nations. These artifacts are kept in a climate-controlled facility monitored by staff archaeologists. Archaeological Services also provides replicas of artifacts that are used for teaching opportunities and in public displays.