1980s WARC (Washington Archaeological Research Center): An Experiment in Communitarianism for Pacific Northwest Archaeology--And it did WARC (Work)

Document Type


Department or Administrative Unit

Anthropology and Museum Studies

Publication Date

Spring 2022


The Washington Archaeological Research Center (WARC) was established in 1972 at Washington State University (WSU) to serve the six four-year universities and colleges, the state, and thus the public. WARC served as a clearinghouse for government contracts. Project assignments were made through a Scientific Committee of archaeology faculty. Dr. Richard D. Daugherty directed WARC until 1980, when the Administrative Board, and the Scientific Committee, redirected WARC away from contract coordination. Dr. Dale R. Croes was appointed Director, and WARC was tasked with maintaining the state's site records and contract/research reports library. WARC was also directed to create the first computer database for survey projects and site records. WARC goals grew to include: facilitating research, training students, and conducting public outreach. WARC soon created an Advisory Council representing a broad collation of private contract archaeologists; professional archaeologists from Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia, Canada; Native American Representatives; Federal/state agencies; and Archaeological/Historical Societies. In many ways it was an effort to work together, using our limited resources, to promote archaeological interests (especially beginning to digitize, standardize, and update our paper-based archaeological site forms)--a coordinating of our discipline, in a form of communitarianism, based on the idea that those involved in archaeology were essentially cooperative ("good") people who wanted to work together for our common goals. The WARC newsletter, The Thunderbird with the distribution of 68 issues, serves as the basis for outlining a chronology of our history between 1980 and 1988.


This article was originally published in Journal of Northwest Anthropology. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.

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Journal of Northwest Anthropology