The ADS team is delighted to announce the recent release of our 3000th data collection!
This milestone represents significant growth in the number of Collections deposited with the ADS as digital preservation becomes embedded in the requirements of funding agencies for higher education research, and development-led archaeology.
Of note is not only the increase in numbers, with over 350 Collections released this calendar year, but also the geographic and thematic breadth of projects. The vast majority of archives released this year come from a diverse range of activity generated by development-control or infrastructure projects, for example:
- Excavation and Post-Excavation projects https://doi.org/10.5284/1106772
- Historic Buildings surveys such as https://doi.org/10.5284/1106778
- Geophysical surveys such as https://doi.org/10.5284/1105904
Our collection also continues to be updated with desk-based research and assessment projects, often funded by national heritage agencies such as Historic England. Notable examples include the Inner Humber Rapid Coastal Zone Assessment Survey Project, which examined the threat posed to heritage assets by flooding, rising sea levels and increasing rates of coastal erosion.
Alongside these projects we are also excited to see a commitment from funders of academic research to ensuring that their digital research outputs are preserved and accessible. As these projects are often using cutting-edge technologies and methodological approaches the outputs – such as online research databases, 3d models, and photogrammetry – present highly valuable reference resources with high reuse potential. Examples released this year include:
- European Research Council Feeding Anglo-Saxon England (FeedSax): The Bioarchaeology of an Agricultural Revolution
- Leverhulme/British Academy funded Analysing Britain’s Most Elusive Roman Sculptures Project
- Arts and Humanities Research Council funded Tracing the Past: analysing the design and construction of English medieval vaults using digital techniques and Warhorse: The Archaeology of a Military Revolution? 2019-2023
And finally, digital versions of Journals and Monographs continue to form an important facet of our Collections, with new additions this year such as Bedfordshire Archaeology Journal and the Journal of the Medieval Ceramics Research Group.
We are now at an exciting period in our history where we have record numbers of archives deposited and released, often with hundreds of new archives being deposited every month. To keep on top of this influx of data we are also now expanding our staff numbers and training a new generation of digital archivists. With 20 members of the team we are at an all-time high for the organization. As well as working on the collections themselves the team has been, and will continue to be, working on improvements to the search mechanisms so that users can better find and identify collections that help their work and research. A new search interface – tentatively called Archsearch V – is in the pipeline, and we hope to release more information on this in the forthcoming months.