Category Archives: Digital Preservation

We passed! Great result from CoreTrustSeal accreditation

We have obtained the Core Trust Seal.
CoreTrustSeal

As many of you will have seen on social media last month, it is with great pleasure that the ADS can announce that it has been awarded CoreTrustSeal (CSA) certification. This is a massive achievement for a small digital repository, based out of four small rooms in the ‘tumbledown’ King’s Manor in York (well at least under ‘normal’ circumstances) and represents the culmination of many hours, weeks and months of hard work by all repository staff.

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I hit save so it’s preserved right?

No preservation format is perfect. While physical mediums such as paper can last centuries under proper conditions, it is that qualifier that is key to its longevity. Everyone has seen what can happen to paper when it gets wet. Similarly, there are many horror stories of corrupted files that have helped create sceptics for using digital preservation over physical preservation. 

We have had 4000+ years to develop strategies to conserve the ‘written’ word and less then 50 for methodologies to preserve digital data.  However, as long as digital data is properly cared for, there is no reason that it too cannot last just as long.

There are two types of digital data; born digital which is data that has never been in a physical format or digitised data which was originally a physical before begin converted.  Both types of face similar problems and today I‘m going to talk about one of the more hidden killers of digital data: data degradation.  

A comic strip that talks about how great digital data is and how it never degrades while have the quality of the image become more degraded in each panel.
©xkcd, Digital Data
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World Digital Preservation Day 2019: the ‘Bit List’ vs Archaeological Data

World Digital Preservation day logo

The Archaeology Data Service would like to wish everyone a very happy World Digital Preservation Day. We’re excited to be raising awareness of Digital Preservation and celebrating the work that we do.

We’re looking forward to reading the DPC’s new edition of the ‘Bit List‘ of Digitally Endangered Species released today and hearing about how our fellow archivists and the #DigiPres community are participating.

We thought we’d address a few of the ‘endangered species’ of file formats on this year’s list and see how they relate to the data that we receive as an archive for archaeological data.

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It’s the end!

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.

Image of the Rabbit from the novel Alice in Wonderland. Used to represent falling down library rabbit holes. Image source: John Tenniel, Wikicommons
Falling down library rabbit holes
Image source: John Tenniel, Wikicommons

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.

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The ADS Investigates: #MythBustingMay

Black and white illustration of the profile of Sherlock Holmes smoking a pipe.

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.

Image of documents on shelves with the ADS logo and the text 'busted!'
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Gems in the Library #2 The Underhill Archive

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.

Northern Roman Britain georeferenced here on open street maps. The map was probably drawn around 1895.
Northern Roman Britain georeferenced here on open street maps. The map was probably drawn around 1895.
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My first Six Weeks as a Digital Archives Assistant

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.

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The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 3: Final Thoughts and Recommendations

Image of an artefact in the 3D hop viewer.
3DHOP Virtual Amarna Project

This blog post is the last in a series I have published following my investigations into the use and re-use of 3D data held within the ADS archive. This research included a user survey and case study investigations into web usage and citation tracking of specific archives that hold 3D data. This post presents my final thoughts and recommendations for the effective dissemination of 3D data to the ADS and interested 3D data creators and users.

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The Use and Re-use of 3D Data from the ADS Archive

Over the past year I, (Michaela Mauriello) have been doing a work placement with the ADS as part of my MSc degree at the University of York in Digital Heritage under the Department of Archaeology.

I chose to work with the ADS for my degree placement because I had previous experience as an intern at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, where I developed an overall interest in the process of archiving and researching archaeological data. After arriving in York I became interested in the amount of 3D data found within the ADS archives and how this data was being used by outside sources and in publications; thus beginning this research.

The aims of this project was to investigate the use and re-use of archaeological 3D data found in the ADS through: web statistics and publication citation analysis, tracking disseminated 3D data, user survey, and a basic human-computer interaction evaluation of the ADS website. The objective of which was to provide a series of recommendations for the effective dissemination of 3D data to the ADS and interested 3D data creators and users.

From this research, a series of blog posts have been created to show the process and conclusion of my findings.

Public Use and Interest of 3D Data in the ADS: Questionnaire

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 1: Statistics and Publication Analysis

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 2: User survey

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 3: Final Thoughts and Recommendations

If you would like to follow my work or have questions on my work, I am available on various social media platforms:

Instagram: mm_digitalized
Twitter: m_mauriello
LinkedIn: Michaela Mauriello
E-mail: mm1888@york.ac.uk

The Use of Archived 3D Data Part 2: User survey

This is the second post in my blog series on the use and re-use of 3D data from the ADS archive. Following the webs usage statistical analysis and the citation analysis explored in Part 1, I decided to carry out a user survey to explore what people are doing with 3D data and if they are even aware of that the ADS provides archives consisting of 3D data.

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