One of the biggest problems museums are facing, both in the state of Oklahoma and across the country, is the lack of storage space for new collections. Designated repositories like the Sam Noble Oklahoma Museum of Natural History are encouraged to take in new material when archaeologists survey and excavate sites, but most museums and repositories are understaffed and have collections dating back many decades. Archaeological material in a state can only go to its designated state repositories and cannot go to storage outside of its respective state, which can be an issue if a state only has one or two repositories total. As stated in the National Park Service information on the curation crisis, archaeologists are required to find repositories for all of the artifacts and documents from their excavations to apply for state or federal permits. Organizing and cataloging collections can take weeks or months, and if someone leaves in the middle of cataloguing a collection, it means at best the next person to work on the collection will have to start from the beginning and take time away from other collections that need to be processed. At worst, the collection is put away and all knowledge of it is eventually lost. New collections come in every day, adding to the growing number of boxes in storage, and if there are only a few people working through them at a time, when some collections can take months to process, they will not be able to keep up with all of the new and legacy materials.
The solutions to lack of storage space are simple in theory, though executing them would likely be much more difficult. Archaeologists cannot simply stop excavating sites while collections are processed, so something like another repository or bringing in more people to work in collections would be more plausible. However, it would take significant funding and either state or federal approval to have a new museum repository or proper storage facility built. Bringing in interns or volunteers would require more outreach and generating interest in state history. This is the most likely solution, and though it would likely take years of work to start making visible progress, it can be done.
“NPS Archeology Program: Managing Archeological Collections.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, https://www.nps.gov/archeology/collections/intro_cur04.htm.