The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) is situated in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York in the UK and is funded partly by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and partly by project based funding drawn from academia, the European Union, National and Local Government archaeology services and commercial archaeology. The core objective of the ADS is to support research, learning and teaching with high quality and dependable digital resources. It does this by preserving digital data in the long term, and by promoting and disseminating a broad range of data in archaeology. The ADS promotes good practice in the use of digital data in archaeology, it provides technical advice to the research community, and supports the deployment of digital technologies.
The ADS archives and provides access to many thousands of files comprising a broad range of archaeological material in the form of excavation and fieldwork project archives, digital versions of archaeological journals (including the
Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland and the Journal of Medieval Archaeology) as well as numerous resources designed for reference or for teaching and learning in archaeology. The ADS created and hosts a series of Guides to Good Practice for the archaeological practitioners on topics ranging from geophysical prospection to Virtual Reality modelling. A core ADS resource is the ArchSearch search engine that allows the discovery of not only all ADS resources, but also from the national monuments records of Scotland, England and Wales and a number of other national and local archaeological databases.
All material hosted by the ADS is freely available to all for
bona fide research, teaching and learning purposes and is covered by our terms and conditions of use.
The ADS is actively involved in a number of research and development projects. These projects currently include the EU funded VENUS: Virtual ExploratioN of Underwater Sites project and the DARIAH: Digital Research Infrastructure for the Arts and Humanities project. The VENUS project involves us in work with a number of European partners and centres on research into the particular problems of data management in large scale marine archaeology and VR projects. The DARIAH project aims to create large scale integration in the sphere of digital research output preservation. Our role in this project is to bring to service a trans-national archaeological data-aggregation service based on the ARENA: Archaeological Records of Europe Networked Access demonstrator project originally completed by the ADS with six European partners in 2004.
The ADS contribution to the ACE project is wide ranging, concerned mainly with the development of international standards and best practice; it also includes an exemplar digital archive for one of the proposed project excavations. We will be centrally involved with both the assessment of recommendations on European wide archaeological data management and access as well as taking a lead role in disseminating best practice in digital publication and preservation. It is also under the auspices of the ACE project that the ADS will be developing and hosting a Universal Description, Discovery and Integration (UDDI) registry service to allow broader and richer access to archaeological resources via web services.
The ADS has organised and hosted an ACE plenary meeting the 25 and 26 of April 2008 in York
Archaeology Data Service, University of York (ADS)
Julian D. Richards
Julian D. Richards
King's Manor, Exhibition Square, YO1 7EP