Historic England

Introduction | Overview | Case Studies | Questionnaire | Formats | Workshop | Deliverables | Staff

Case Studies

Three pilot projects generating 'Big Data' have been identified. The process of archiving these projects will allow the assessment of preservation, archiving, dissemination and reuse issues associated with large datasets. These projects cover three of the most common sources of 'Big Data' currently produced by archaeologists; maritime archaeology, 3D scanning and LiDAR surveys.

Wessex Archaeology Wessex Archaeology: have been successful in receiving ALSF funds via EH for the Wrecks on the Seabed Project round 1, the project will contain data relating to the investigation of submerged archaeological sites using geophysical tools and diver based techniques. Wessex Archaeology are already in discussion with the ADS regarding costings for maritime projects and a suitable pilot will be selected for the 'Big Data' project.

Durham University: have an AHRB funded project called Breaking through rock art recording: three-dimensional laser scanning of megalithic rock art. They have a full range of scanning data, having scanned all the stones of Castlerigg looking for rock art. Sample data has already been sent to the ADS and an assessment is being drawn up for archival purposes. This project should already have budgeted for data documentation and archive preparation. View this archive online

English Heritage: have a few (so far) projects using LiDAR. The most suitable of these is the 'Where Rivers Meet' project (ALSF 3349). Most data from projects using LiDAR are held by the Environment Agency who will need to be consulted on archiving issues. It is possible that under the distributed archiving model that archiving will ultimately take place at the Environment Agency.


A series of forms have been designed in order to document in detail the archival process for these projects both in terms of human and physical resources required and of the suitability of the data for dissemination and long term curation.

Data audit form

Data audit description form

Data transfer form

Data accessioning form

Data documentation form

Core metadata form

Specialized metadata form

Email the Big Data project