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Help & guidance Continuing professional development

Data management for archaeological archives

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists CPD workshop

(27 April 2018)
Chartered Institute for Archaeologists CIFA logo


Digital technologies have transformed the archaeological profession. Through presentations, group discussion and practical activities this workshop will explore the importance of data management and digital preservation for the long term safety of archaeological data and provide practical guidance on how to prepare, curate, and deposit data. The workshop will begin with an introduction to data management and digital preservation for archaeology. Following this, participants will take part in a practical metadata identification activity which will encourage participants to think critically about how they create and manage their own archaeological data. The workshop will then outline current guidelines for data management and archiving, and provide advice on how to prepare and curate data to existing professional standards. The workshop will culminate with participants reflecting on the information gathered through the session to create a Data Management Plan (DMP) that will work for their own data management needs.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course participants will be expected to:

  • Understand the importance of good data management practices.
  • Understand the importance of digital preservation for the long term safety of archaeological data.
  • Understand the principles of best practice in data management.
  • Have a working knowledge of current data management guidance and standards for archaeology.
  • Understand the application of digital preservation and data management for their own work.
  • Be able to prepare data management plans.

National occupational standards

  • AE2 Develop procedures for the use of information resources.
  • AE3 Classify, compile and maintain data on the material remains and intangible heritage of past communities.
  • CCSAPAA1 Develop policies and guidance for archaeology

Session programme

9:30 Introduction, Katie Green
9:40 Importance of good data management and digital preservation for archaeology, Katie Green
10:00 Metadata Activity
10:30 Current Guidelines and Professional Standards, Tim Evans
10:50 Discussion
11:00 Coffee and Tea
11:30 Archaeological Digital Archiving Protocol, Claire Tsang
12:00 Data Management Planning Activity
12:30 Review of Data Management Plans and Discussion
13:00 Lunch

Workshop resources

Blank Data Management Plan

Further reading

Data management

The Digital Curation Center’s Online Management Plan.

The Digital Curation Center’s Management Plan Check List

Metadata and data formats

The ADS Preferred and Accepted File Formats

The ADS Metadata Requirements

Library of Congress Recommended Formats Statement

Historic England Digital Image Capture and File Storage

Heritage Data Vocabularies.

Historic Environment Scotland Guidelines for Archiving Archaeological Projects including Recommended File Formats.


ADS Selection and Retention Guidelines.

The Digital Curation Center’s Selection and Retention Guidelines

Coming Soon CIFA Archives Group Selection Toolkit for Archaeological Archives.

Archaeological archive standards and guidelines

ARCHES Archaeological Resources in Cultural Heritage a European Standard website

Archaeological Archives: A guide to best practice in creation, compilation, transfer and curation

Digital preservation

Digital Preservation Coalition.