I’m finally at the end of my
internship here at ADS, which has flown by. I’ve learned a lot and have been
able to appreciate some of the intricacies of what goes on behind the scenes at
an organisation such as ADS.
I started off working on the library, starting off by updating the entries for Internet Archaeology. Which inspired me to write this blog post. I also did some tidying up of entries in the library. Doing this made me not only appreciate what a huge resource it is but also led to me falling down many, many rabbit holes. I especially love some of the publications from before 1850 and their illustrations. Looking at the older reports from local and regional archaeology and antiquarian societies also made me appreciate how the library also represents the history of British archaeology and how much of our discipline is built on these earlier efforts.
Throughout the month of May, the ADS has been investigating and debunking some of the myths and misconceptions that surround archives, digital preservation and the Archaeology Data Service.
You may have seen us using the Twitter hashtag #MythBustingMay to highlight some of these common misunderstandings, signpost useful resources and evoke the occasional PDF-related public outcry. The project has been well received and we hope has provided a useful insight into digital preservation best practice and the services the ADS provides.
As the month draws to a close and we hang up our deer-stalkers, we’ve decided to free ourselves of the shackles of 140 characters and compile a blog to discuss some of the key issues and ideas the project has highlighted.
The ARIADNEplus project invites archaeological researchers and data managers to participate in an online survey on community needs regarding data sharing and access, new services and tools, and related training needs.
ARIADNEplus is a project funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Programme. It aims to integrate archaeological datasets in a digital infrastructure so that researchers can use them with services and tools, which will also be provided by the project.
We kindly invite you to share your experience and views on the survey topics. The survey includes matrix table questions, therefore using a desktop or notebook (not a tablet or mobile) is recommended.
Thank you very much for your valuable contribution!
Many moons ago, the ADS decided that it was going to try and increase its social media presence. To this end, we started tweeting, and posting, and doing all sorts of social media like things. From this, we began experimenting with the world of hashtags and found ourselves interacting with #Archive30. It was through this trend of talking about a different thing from our archive and work that we came to the day of outreach.
Now outreach can mean something different to each person. According to Google’s dictionary it means ‘an organization’s involvement with or influence in the community, especially in the context of religion or social welfare.’ So we were at conundrum. How would we, an organization dedicated to the preservation of digital data going to show our many followers (who I’m sure were waiting with bated breath) that we left our offices every once in a while?
Well, if there is one thing that I enjoy, it’s a good old visualization of information. And that is how the lovely map below was made.
It’s almost the weekend so obviously this was the right time have fun with some of the beautiful images to be found in the HMJ Underhill archive, compiled by Oxford University and available in our archives. Also I felt like brushing up on the old QGIS skills. So I decided to georeference some of these images and see how they match up with modern maps.
These images all come from the Underhill Archive available on the ADS Archive. The archive was put together by Deborah Harlan and Megan Price at the University of Oxford. It consists of hand painted glass slides of British megaliths as well as maps of ancient Britain and the areas surrounding prehistoric monuments.
Over the last few months, ADS beavers have been busy in the background making much needed updated and improvements to our electronic submissions systems. Over the last couple of years, we have listened to your comments, digested the constructive criticism in your emails, bought a job lot of earplugs for those exasperated phone calls and tried our best to address them. While we cannot remove all those requirements for metadata, or reduce the costs of deposition, what we have tried to improve is the process of deposition to make it as streamlined and seamless as possible.
As well as welcoming our lovely new staff members, we also have yet more good news…
… The ADS Library now holds over 50,000 downloadable grey literature reports!
Thank you to all the archivists who have worked hard preserving, archiving and disseminating these files and to all of our depositors who continue to make our Grey Literature Collections such a rich resource!
Many friends of ADS will remember Tony Austin, who sadly died on 9 April 2019, aged 69. Tony was a key figure at the ADS during our formative years, his dry and understated sense of humour, knowledge and enthusiasm will be missed by all of us who worked with him.
After spending time working on the ADS library I thought it would be fun to share with you a few gems of the library content. Subsequently I fell down numerous rabbit holes. It was quite hard picking articles as there is so much there but in the end I decided to discuss two articles which explore archaeology, computing and digital environments. I found these articles fascinating because they challenge my entire concept of heritage and archaeology, especially how its applied to new technology. So I hope you don’t mind me going off on a tangent in discussing them. I’m planning to do a few posts in this series with a different large theme each time as way of showcasing how awesome it is to have all this open access data available.
Archaeology of Virtual Universes
We’re all away of how the pace of development of technology seems to accelerate faster and faster; a handaxe might have been a standard tools for millennia, but chances are the computing technology you used ten years ago is defunct. Dealing with obsolete formats, in both their hard and soft versions, is a big part of a digital archivists job, have a look at the story of the Newham Museum Archaeological Service Archive to find out more.
It’s been six weeks since I started working at the Archaeology Data Service and went down the rabbit hole and into a world of checksums, AIPs, OMS, CMS and DROIDs. I knew fairly little about digital preservation before starting, so had no real idea of what I might be letting myself in for. Alongside trying to keep abreast of the plethora of acronyms, I’ve been involved in some interesting and varied projects so far and I’m very grateful for how welcoming the ADS team has been.
Following a BA in archaeology at the University of Durham, I moved to London to study the archaeology of Egypt and the Near East at UCL, with a focus on GIS and computational methods in archaeology. I developed an interest in archives and collections documentation during a placement at a museum during my master’s degree. Admittedly, I’d anticipated taking a more traditional route of working with material objects and I knew quite little about digital collections. Joining the ADS is my first foray into digital preservation and I’m excited to be learning about such an interesting subject and working with archaeological data. I’m especially looking forward to developing my technical skills; and of course still being able to have fun with GIS from time to time.