The ADS was established in 1996 with core funding from the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). In recognition of the fact that most archaeological research data are generated outside the academic sector from 1999 the ADS introduced a Charging Policy, whereby a one-off data deposit charge in levied at the point of deposit. This is set at a level to ensure that all costs of OAIS compliance are covered, and it includes a small element which is transferred to an endowment fund to safeguard the long-term future of the data. Since 2012 the ADS has been almost entirely project-funded. The endowment fund is worth around £200,000 at 2019 values. In addition, the long-term preservation of the data archived by ADS is underwritten by the University of York and the University’s Library and Archives.

Our sustainable business model ensures that:

  • ADS resources will​ remain​ open and freely accessible
  • ADS resources will be preserved into perpetuity

In order to ​maintain sustain this model we:

  • Recover costs​ from the body funding the​ ​historic environment investigation or research

We do this by​:​

  • collecting a one-off payment at the time of deposit​ or release of a collection.​

The majority of historic environment funding bodies in the UK endorse this model by either mandating or advocating for the deposition of collections ​related to the projects they fund ​with the ADS.

Long-term preservation to enable the discovery and re-use of data is now a recognised and desired outcome for project funders including Research Councils, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and National Heritage Agencies​ and it is expected that all projects will include the cost of deposition with the ADS within their grant application, tender or bid.​ This includes:

  • Research Councils UK
  • Other higher education funding bodies (British Academy, Leverhulme Trust)
  • European Commission (ERC, Horizon 2020)
  • Governmental agencies – e.g. project work for Historic England or Local government
  • Heritage Lottery Fund
  • Marc Fitch Fund
  • Developer-funded / commercial archaeology

The ADS is the recommended digital repository for archaeological data for the following organisations:

AHRC Logo British Academy Logo CiFA Logo City of York Council Logo Council for British Archaeology Logo County Durham Council Logo Devon County Council Logo Hampshire County Council Logo Hertfordshire County Council Logo Heritage Lottery Fund Logo HighSpeed2 Logo Historic England Logo MEDIN Logo Museums Worcestershire Logo NERC Logo Scientific Data Logo Society of Antiquaries London Logo