Remains in a museum

April 17, 1998

NEIL Chalmers is inaccurate in claiming that the World Archaeological Congress had access to the Natural History Museum's archives on its human remains collection in 1991-92 (Letters, THES, March ). WAC did request permission for Cressida Fforde and an assistant to be given access (May 13, 1992) but this request was refused (July 7, 1992).

The World Archaeological Bulletin 6 (1992) simply contains a list of items identified by Dr Fforde from sources outside the museum as being in the collections. The accuracy of this list was checked by museum staff. At no time has WAC considered the published list to be complete. Only access to the archives would confirm this.

WAC is committed to bringing information about museum collections into the public domain and therefore renews its request for a bona fide researcher, such as Dr Fforde and an assistant, to be allowed access to relevant archives at the Natural History Museum.

Julian Thomas, Secretary. World Archaeological Congress

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