Michael CHARNO / Julian RICHARDS
(Archaeology Data Service, York, UK)

Keywords: Interoperability, Web Services, Portals

The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) founded in 1996, is a national repository for digital data from the UK historic environment sector. The ADS has a mandate to provide a digital repository for outputs from research funded by national funding bodies within the UK, which has led to a considerable archive of data and metadata.  Within archaeology there has been an increasing use of the web for data dissemination for some time, but datasets continue to be fragmented and isolated.  To address the issue of “data siloing” (i.e. data only discoverable and/or accessible from a single location), the ADS partnered with other UK heritage bodies to develop a portal to make sites and monuments records cross-searchable across the United Kingdom.  With European Commission Culture 2000 programme funding we were able to extend the approach to work with a number of European partners in ARENA (Archaeological Records of Europe Networked Access), which sought to develop a framework capable of protecting and promoting digital cultural archives of European significance relating to archaeology.  The ARENA portal provided a distributed search of sites and monuments data from six different European countries: the UK, Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Romania and Poland.  Within the preparation phase for the European DARIAH research infrastructure we were subsequently able to provide a technical demonstrator which added new partners and upgraded the ARENA infrastructure and technical framework.  ARENA2 highlighted the quickly changing nature of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) approaches, which led to the implementation of newer technologies underpinned by the same philosophy.  Finally we have extended the approach to partners in the United States. The  Transatlantic Archaeology Gateway (TAG) was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (UK) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (USA).   It developed web services and a search interface for cross-searching the archives held by ADS and Digital Antiquity. TAG was the first exam