Monthly Archives: July 2015

Archiving Ipswich

Re-posted from Day of Archaeology

Two years after posting about my work on the Silbury Hill digital archive, in ‘AN ADS DAY OF ARCHAEOLOGY’, and I’m still busy working as a Digital Archivist with the ADS!

For the past few months, I have been working on the Ipswich Backlog Excavation Archive, deposited by Suffolk County Council, which covers 34 sites, excavated between 1974 and 1990.

Ipswich2

To give a quick summary of the work so far, the data first needed to be accessioned into our systems which involved all of the usual checks for viruses, removing spaces from file names, sorting the data into 34 separate collections and sifting out duplicates etc.  The archive packages were then created which involved migrating the files to their preservation and dissemination formats and creating file-level metadata using DROID.  The different representations of the files were linked together using object ids in our database and all of the archiving processes were documented before the coverage and location metadata were added to the individual site collections.

Though time consuming, due to the quantity of data, this process was fairly simple as most of the file names were created consistently and contained the site code.  Those that didn’t have descriptive file names could be found in the site database and sorted according to the information there.

The next job was to create the interfaces; again, this was fairly simple for the individual sites as they were made using a template which retrieves the relevant information from our database allowing the pages to be consistent and easily updateable.

The Ipswich Backlog Excavation Archive called for a more innovative approach, however, in order to allow the users greater flexibility with regards to searching, so the depositors requested a map interface as well as a way to query information from their core database.  The map interface was the most complex part of the process and involved a steep learning curve for me as it involved applications, software and code that I had not previously used such as JavaScript, OpenLayers, GeoServer and QGIS.  The resulting map allows the user to view the features excavated on the 34 sites and retrieve information such as feature type and period as well as linking through to the project archive for that site.

OpenLayers map of Ipswich excavation sites.

So, as to what I’m up to today…

The next, and final step, is to create the page that queries the database.  For the past couple of weeks I have been sorting the data from the core database into a form that will fit into the ADS object tables, cleaning and consolidating period, monument and subject terms and, where possible, matching them to recognised thesauri such as the English Heritage Monument Type Thesaurus.

Today will be a continuation of that process and hopefully, by the end of the day, all of the information required by the query pages will be added to our database tables so that I can begin to build that part of the interface next week.  If all goes to plan, the user should be able to view specific files based on searches by period, monument/feature type, find type, context, site location etc. with more specialist information, such as pottery identification, being available directly from the core database tables which will be available for download in their entirety.  Fingers crossed that it does all go to plan!

So, that’s my Day of Archaeology 2015, keep a look out for ADS announcements regarding the release of the Ipswich Backlog Excavation Archive sometime over the next few weeks and check out the posts from my ADS colleagues Jo Gilham and Georgie Field!

UPDATE: Ipswich Excavation Archive has now been released! All sites can be explored here!

Internet Archaeology is awarded the Directory of Open Access Journals Seal

InternDOAJ Seal logoet Archaeology is delighted to announce that we have been awarded the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) Seal.

The DOAJ is an online directory that indexes and provides access to high quality, open access, peer-reviewed journals.

The  DOAJ Seal is awarded to a journal that fulfills a set of criteria related to accessibility, openness, discoverability, reuse and author rights. It acts as a signal to readers and authors that the journal has generous use and reuse terms, author rights and adheres to the highest level of ‘openness’

Internet Archaeology has been awarded the DOAJ Seal because it:

  • has an archival and preservation arrangement in place with the Archaeology Data Service
  • provides permanent DOI identifiers in the published content
  • provides article level metadata to DOAJ
  • embeds machine-readable CC licensing information in article level metadata
  • allows reuse and remixing of content in accordance with a CC BY license
  • has a deposit policy registered in SHERPA/RoMEO
  • allows authors to hold copyright without restriction.

Internet Archaeology is currently the only open access archaeology journal to be awarded the Seal, sitting alongside 88 other journals from right across the academic spectrum. It is wonderful to have been recognised for our work in this area by the DOAJ.

OUT NOW: Dendrochronological Data in Archaeology

For a great deal of human history, wood has been an important construction material and remnants of ancient wood are preserved to this day in archaeological sites on land and under water, as well as in buildings and mobile heritage.

Old School Cottage, Bayton, Worcestershire: Section of joist with 132 rings (in a distance of 8 cm), 1378-1509 (Vernacular Architecture 27, p. 91).
Old School Cottage, Bayton, Worcestershire: Section of joist with 132 rings (in a distance of 8 cm), 1378-1509 (Vernacular Architecture 27, p. 91).

Dendrochronology is an important tool in cultural-heritage research  to determine the exact calendar age of ancient wood. Such age determinations contribute significantly to assessments of the meaning of archaeological and architectural structures in terms of their chronological and cultural context.
Continue reading OUT NOW: Dendrochronological Data in Archaeology