We were very pleased to recently release our first archive which was deposited with us via ADS-easy. Oxford Archaeology (South) deposited a small archive of the digital outputs of a trail trench evaluation a trial trench evaluation on the site of The Former NXP Works in Southampton, Hampshire, on behalf of CgMs Consulting prior to the redevelopment of the site by Canmoor Projects Ltd. The work took place in March 2013 and the archive deposited with the ADS in accordance with instructions from Southampton Arts and Heritage.
Although there were undoubtedly some steep learning curves to climb by both ourselves and our colleagues at Oxford Archaeology, once the data was in the system we (here at the ADS) certainly started to reap the benefits of the SWORD_ARM project.
The process internally was easier and more efficient, just some examples are included here:
- Because the depositor had completed the metadata within ADS-easy we did not have to copy this manually from a text document or spreadsheet into our systems, cutting out duplication of effort and hours of work;
- The programmatic movement of files within our system to, for example, our preservation directory, meant we not only saved time but also reduced the likelihood of introducing human error into the system;
- Because the interface is now automatically generated from the system, we again save time and increase the level of consistency we can achieve between archives, hopefully creating a more familiar experience for our users.
Even those initial teething issues have been useful; we have been able to take the feedback from Oxford Archaeology (and other subsequent users of ADS-easy) and make changes in response, especially concentrating on making the creation of file level metadata more understandable. This has, in turn, lead to us embarking on work to ensure that all our internal guidelines are consistent, clear and easily understandable whether you are depositing in the ‘traditional’ way by CD or using ADS-easy. This work is on going as are modifications and enhancement to the ADS-easy system as it start to become a part of depositors tool box.
We would like to thank Oxford Archaeology, and other ADS-easy pioneers, whose good will, good humour and perceptive feedback have helped immeasurably in the development of this tool.