Skip to content

Welcome to the new ADS website!

We at the ADS are excited to announce the launch of the new ADS website!

The new website will go live at 8am on Monday 6th February 2023 and represents the culmination of two years of hard work by ADS staff and our website designer, the Error Agency.  Generously funded as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research infrastructure programme, the website has been redesigned to provide a more intuitive user experience and a clearer design to allow easier access to all of the resources and information that the ADS offers.

Listed below are some of the highlights of the new website, as well as some details about what isn’t changing (at least for now) and some improvements that you can expect over the next year. Frequently Asked Questions can be found at the end of the post. Please feel free to explore our new resources and get in touch if you would like to offer any feedback.

A screenshot image of the homepage of the new ADS website
The homepage of the new ADS website

Highlights of the new website

  • A more intuitive design making it easier for users to access all ADS resources.
  • A more responsive website that can be displayed on different types of devices including tablets and smartphones.
  • A News and Events section, a single place for all the latest news and forthcoming events from the ADS. 
  • Better links to our partner journal, Internet Archaeology, which can be accessed directly from the homepage. 
  • A redesign of our Instruction for Depositors (formerly the Guidelines for Depositors) to clarify our requirements for depositing data with the ADS.

What do you think?

We are always looking for ways to improve our resources and the advice that we provide. If you’ve had a good look around the new website then we would be interested in hearing your thoughts – please get in touch with us at 

So what is staying the same?

Although the design of the website is much improved, you’ll notice that some of our core features are staying the same, specifically our three main databases and the ADS-easy archive system.

  • ArchSearch: Search our database of 1.4 million metadata records aggregate from multiple sources of heritage data from across the UK.
  • Archives: Search our extensive collection of data rich projects archives drawn from both the commercial archaeology sector and academic based projects.
  • Library: Search out extensive bibliographic records and download more than 70,000 unpublished reports and 50,000 journal articles.
  • ADS-Easy: our interface for quickly depositing small to medium-sized project archives.
A screenshot of search menu of the new ADS website
The search menu of the new ADS website

The interfaces for each of these services are staying the same for now and will continue to work as normal once the new website goes live. If you need assistance have a look at the ‘Help’ menu located in the top right hand corner of each page. As ever please get in touch with the ADS helpdesk ( if you have any questions.

Coming soon….

Although some of our core features are staying the same, there are more changes in the works in the near future!


Following a user review conducted by our colleagues at the Error Agency, our main application for depositing data, ADS-Easy, is currently in the process of a redesign. For those of you who haven’t used the system, ADS-easy allows users to directly upload metadata and certain data types, which speeds up the process and significantly reduces the cost of archiving your archaeological data.  Although the back-end structure of the system will remain the same, we are redesigning the interface to make it more intuitive for users, to add or improve existing features  as requested by users, and to better integrate our guidance into the archiving process. Keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more updates later in the year.


Our long-lived ArchSearch application is also due an overhaul! Rather than redevelop an entire application from scratch we plan to integrate an ADS-specific version of the Ariadne Portal. The portal offers a central access point to archaeological resources from partner institutions throughout Europe. To find out more you can read more about it on this post from our Director posted on the ADS blog back in 2021.

Already tested as a proof of concept, the ADS-specific version of the Portal will focus on just ADS held resources, and tie the look and feel into the new website design. This new interface, which we’re calling Archsearch V, will be released in the future, with a clearer timeline to be set out and shared with users later this calendar year.

For now you can use this version of the Ariadne portal to search ADS resources. See the guide to using the portal to take advantage of all the impressive features including searching by location, period and subject matter. In the meantime if you have any questions please feel free to get in touch via the helpdesk (

Any problems?

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions below. If you have any difficulties in accessing or using the new website please contact the ADS helpdesk ( You can also contact us by sending a message through one of our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).


How do I use the new site? 

The new website has been designed to be much easier to navigate than the old site. All of the main sections are accessible via the horizontal navigation bar along the top of the homepage. The main pages are:

  • Search data: This is where you can find links to ArchSearch, the Archives and the Library.
  • Deposit data (ADS-easy): Want to deposit some data with us? This section is your first port of call including the ‘Instructions for Depositors’ and ADS-easy; the fastest way to deposit small and medium-sized project archives.
  • Help and Guidance: All of our advice and guidance in one place – find info on data management, data re-use, CPD, FAQs, and the Guides to Good Practice.
  • News and Events: A new feature – where to find out all the latest news and upcoming events from the ADS.
  • Blog: the location of the ever popular ‘Sound Bytes’ blog.
  • About: Find out all about the ADS including our team, governance, policies and procedures, and links to recent presentations and publications. 

How has the website been improved?

The main changes in the website are down to its structure, which has been streamlined for easier navigation and to enable straightforward access to our help and guidance. Although many of our core services remain the same (ArchSearch, Archives, Library), we have also implemented a number of new features. These include:

  • A News and Events section – a one stop shop for all news articles and details of upcoming ADS events.
  • A more responsive experience – we are now able to better display the website on different types of devices including tablets, smart phones.
  • Better links to our partner journal, Internet Archaeology – you can now access the Internet Archaeology journal directly from the new homepage.
  • A redesign of our Instruction for Depositors (formerly the Guidelines for Depositors). Although the requirements remain the same, the document has been updated and reorganised to clarify our requirements for those depositing data with the ADS.

What’s the plan for fixing things that are not working on the day of launch?

On the day of the new website launch (Monday 6th February 2023) we may experience some downtime as services are transferred over to a new virtual machine. It may take several hours before the website changes from the old version to the new version for some users. Our web developers will be on hand on the day to attend to any issues that arise. Please do contact us ( if you experience any difficulties and we will try our best to fix these as soon as possible. Please be aware that it may take several days after we launch the new website to fix any issues that we encounter.

Who should I contact if I have any difficulties accessing the new website?

If you have any difficulties in accessing or using the new website please contact the ADS helpdesk ( You can also contact the ADS by sending a message through one of our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

All of the links to the previous website have been forwarded onto the corresponding pages of the new website. As such all previous links and bookmarks should continue to work. However, where new sections have been added or updated from the old version of the website, there may be new urls. For more information about the new sections of the website, please see the above section in the FAQs.

What happens to everything on the old site? Can I still access that information?

All of the information that was held on the old version of the website will be moved over to the new website. Although the old website will not be available after Monday February 6th, all of the information has been transferred to the new website. In addition, all links to the old pages will be retained and forwarded to corresponding pages on the new website.

Why did you redesign the website? 

The current version of the ADS website was launched more than ten years ago now. It evolved into this current version to suit a host of different needs, which meant that it became quite unwieldy and difficult to navigate. Moreover, the technology that supported the old website was becoming outdated and as such it was not as accessible and user friendly as similar websites elsewhere. In short, it was long overdue for an update and so, with the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) research infrastructure programme, as part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), we commissioned Error Agency to create a new version.

How did you redesign the website?

We have redesigned the website to make it easier to navigate and find relevant information on our services. In 2021 we commissioned the Error Agency to undertake a user experience survey of our key audiences, including a series of focus groups to better understand what elements of the website were in need of a redesign. For a summary of the new features of the website please see above. Over the next few weeks we will also be posting across our social media channels about some of the exciting new features of the website. Be sure to follow our social media channels for more information.

Anything else?

If you have any other questions that we have not covered in the list above please contact the ADS helpdesk ( or send a message through one of our social media channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *