Archaeology Data Service

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  • Julian Richards


The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) is a digital repository for cultural heritage data. Based at the University of York, it also provides advice and support for research projects on good practice in using digital data. It is staffed by archivists, developers and researchers who work on the long-term digital preservation of the data that have been deposited with the ADS.

Taken from the project website (Accessed 2019-09-03):

The ADS is an accredited digital repository for heritage data that has evolved over 20 years of history. The scope and nature of what is considered heritage data and is suitable for deposit with the ADS is defined in our Collections Policy. The core activity of the ADS is the long-term digital preservation of the data that has been entrusted to us. To do this we follow a policy of active data management and curation to ensure the integrity, reliability and accessibility in perpetuity of all data entrusted to our care.

The data stored within the repository can be accessed via the ADS search interface or their Linked Data repository or can be harvested from their OAI-PMH target.

The ADS offers a Costing Calculator to estimate the costs of archiving. It also publishes a set of Guidelines for Depositors and a set of Guides to Good Practice.

Taken from the project website (Accessed 2019-09-03):

The Guidelines for Depositors provide guidance on how to correctly prepare data and compile metadata specifically for deposition with ADS, and describe the ways in which data can be deposited with ADS.

There is a series of shorter summary worksheets and checklists covering: data management; selection and retention; preferred file formats and metadata available from the Guidelines for Depositors Downloads page.

Other resources for the use of potential depositors include a series of Guides to Good Practice. The Guides to Good Practice address the preservation of data resulting from discipline specific archaeological data collection, processing and analysis techniques such as: aerial, geophysical and marine survey; laser scanning; close-range photogrammetry; Geographical Information Systems (GIS); Computer-Aided Design (CAD); and virtual reality. The scope of the Guides to Good Practice not only includes the United Kingdom and Europe, but also North and South America, and other parts of the world. The Guides to Good Practice complement the ADS Guidelines for Depositors and provide more detailed information on specific data types.

Individuals within the team are also able to provide advice on data management and sustainability for specific projects.