The San Diego Archaeological Center is dedicated to fulfilling the intent of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to preserve examples of the major periods of California history and to offset the impact of land development pressures on cultural resources. The Center is committed to the preservation of our archaeological legacy and serves as a curation technology resource to federal, state and local government and private companies. View our Collections Management Policy.

Search for a SDAC Collection

The curation vaults of the SDAC contain over 800 archaeological collections. A list of our collections and the corresponding trinomials is available for download in a searchable document.

Center Collections Available to Researchers

The San Diego Archaeological Center houses collections that can be made available to researchers. The Center will also provide assistance by its own group of interns. For more information, or to share your project with the Center, please contact collections staff at

Contact and Hours

Monday – Friday 10:00am – 3:00pm, closed weekends and federal holidays. Appointments are recommended.

For more information about SDAC Collections, contact collections at


Please note: We do not accept unsolicited donations without a donation form.

Due to the high volume of donation offers the Center receives, we are unable to accept unsolicited objects, images, books, or documents unless you first submit a completed Donation Form. Once you have filled out the donation form, please email it to

Please do not send the original materials you wish to donate to the San Diego Archaeological Center until you have been contacted by Center staff.

If you are unable to complete the online Offer of Donation Form, please call the San Diego Archaeological Center at 760-291-0370 and request that a copy be mailed to you. Please try to include a photograph and measurements of the objects, images, or documents with your form. You may mail back your completed form to the address below.

San Diego Archaeological Center
16666 San Pasqual Valley Road
Escondido, CA 92027

Once the form is received, your proposed donation will be considered, and a staff member will contact you within four weeks. If we are interested in accepting your donation, SDAC staff will work with you to receive your donation. Following acceptance, you will be requested to sign a Deed of Gift to document your transfer of the items to the Center. If you have questions, concerns, or other issues you wish to discuss, please contact us at


Exhibitions Volunteers assist with the design, construction, and installation of Center Museum exhibits.

Volunteers work in the Center’s Research Library, cataloguing materials and organizing on a computer-based system.

Marketing and Administrative Volunteers assist the Development Office or Administration Office with data entry, updating marketing materials and clerical tasks. Computer experience is a plus.

Docents welcome visitors and answer general questions regarding the Center and exhibits. Docents staff the gift shop and help out with administrative and curatorial tasks.

Volunteers support event activities at the Center, such as the Annual BBQ, lectures, workshops, and fundraising events. Be a part of the party!

Volunteer provide support for K-12 programs offered at the Center. These are fun, hands-on programs that kids really enjoy. Teaching experience is a plus, but not required. Background checks are required.


With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will use photogrammetry to prepare one or more archaeological collections for digital preservation, as well as create a virtual museum exhibit for our Public Archaeology department. Per approval, special projects of the intern’s choosing are also available. During the research and planning, the intern will receive guidance as appropriate to their selected project. Prospective interns should already be familiar with photogrammetric procedures, and Agisoft Metashape.

Collections Management

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will prepare one or more archaeological collections for curation. During the course of the internship, the intern will learn to identify artifacts and ecofacts common to the San Diego region, including lithics, ceramics, historical objects, and faunal, botanical, and mineral specimens. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological laboratory procedures such as basic artifact analysis, manual and computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and preventative conservation. In addition, the intern will become familiar with historical trends in archaeological practice in the San Diego area and will be introduced to current legal and ethical issues in archaeological curation as well as the concerns and rights of culturally affiliated groups with regard to archaeological materials.

Development and Marketing

Under the direction of Center staff, the intern will support the department in various activities, including, but not limited to, fundraising and grant research; e-newsletter development; social media marketing; and website maintenance. This internship will give the intern valuable, real-world experience in non-profit fundraising and marketing.

Geographical Information Systems in Archaeology

Prospective Interns must have completed three courses: Introduction to GIS, GIS Database Management, and Intermediate/Advanced Methods in GIS. The intern will be assigned a project where they will create shapefiles and maps for curated archaeological collections, museum exhibits, and/or public outreach using ArcGIS 10.6. Center staff will instruct the intern on archaeological GIS laboratory procedures such as computer cataloguing, storage requirements, and database management.

Library Science

With the assistance of Center staff, the intern will arrange and catalog materials in the Center’s library. During the course of the internship, the intern will take a leading role in the cataloging, sorting and storing of research files and creating user guides for these collections. Center staff will instruct the intern on archival procedures, computer cataloging, storage requirements, and preventative conservation.

Public Archaeology

Harness your passion for Public Archaeology and gain hands-on experience with K-12 museum field trips, lectures, and public outreach. Additional projects may include creating virtual museum exhibits and activities, assisting in the development and implementation of K-12 curricula programs, planning and presenting public facing content, or educational field trip content of your own design. Must be able to pass a Live Scan.