Catherine HARDMAN

(The Archaeology Data Service, University of York, United Kingdom)

Outline: To provide an update on how the ADS is developing new interfaces to its digital archive holdings

Digital data in a variety of forms increasingly constitutes the primary record of archaeological investigations; equally grey literature comprises the main form of publication. Digital media provides an opportunity to make both primary records and grey literature more accessible but also poses new preservation challenges. Methodologies, procedures, and standards for digital preservation are now being developed and there are exciting opportunities for breaking down the traditional distinctions between archives and publication. However, as well as technical issues, obstacles to preservation may also be associated with funding. It is essential that the bodies funding archaeological research, and those undertaking it give appropriate weight to archive preparation and ultimately the digital preservation of their key outputs. In promoting this approach it is important that the value of preserved data is demonstrated through its reuse. New technologies for data mining and resource discovery have much to offer in making reuse easier. Similarly, the semantic web and other emergent web technologies may provide much richer levels of access to research data than has hitherto been possible.
This paper will give an overview of a number of projects currently being undertaken by the Archaeology Data Service, hosted by the University of York, UK, which have attempted to build on its experience of providing a digital archive for archaeological data over the last decade, and using innovative technologies to make the resources increasingly accessible.

Keywords: Archaeology, Archives, Preservation, Access