What is the ADS Library?
The ADS Library is a bibliographic catalogue that brings together material from the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB), archaeological publishers such as Oxbow, and reports, journals and documents from the ADS Archives (see About the Library). The records in the ADS Library provide bibliographic information for books, journals and reports that have British and Irish archaeological content. In some but not all cases, the record may also link to a downloadable file or to an online copy of the journal, article or report. The ADS Library is best used when you are searching for written information about a particular topic.

Where do the records come from?
The records in the ADS Library come from a number of different sources, including the ADS Archives, the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography and archaeological publishers such as Oxbow. You can see where the record originated in the Source field in every record. See About the Library for more information

Do I need to register to use the library?
No. The Library is completely free to access. The Login option you see is for ADS Staff to access a monitoring console.

Who manages the content of the library records?
All content you see in the Library metadata is supplied by external parties. This comes from various sources, including a large number of records from a historic database known as BIAB (see About the Library). The ADS have ensured a basic standard of depositor metadata (e.g. title, author) amongst all these sources, however we are aware there are issues and inaccuracies within this dataset. Historically, we have been averse to editing metadata unless the error has been introduced by our processes; quite simply we do not have the time to fix everything, and in some cases 'errors' are subjective or require verification.

At the time of writing we are taking steps to improve the consistency and accuracy of metadata to provide a better user experience. This is principally looking at Authors, and we’re happy to merge duplicates, or augment with ORCID IDs. In the case of a record that needs removing or replacing, please direct your query to the ADS Helpdesk.

Records relating to another author appear in my list, how can I get them removed?
Please email ADS Helpdesk. with a list of those records which need to be removed from your entry, ideally identifying to whom they should be allocated.

What’s the difference between Search and Browse?
The Search function works on the whole Library database. It is built on faceted classification; have a look at this short video which explains more.

Effectively this allows the user to quickly build queries based on particular facets e.g. ‘Early Medieval’ and ‘Scotland’.

Browse presents all entries for Author, Series and organisation in a simple list. This assumes the user knows roughly what they’re looking for such as all records for a particular author of a Journal Series.

Whilst in Browse mode, and looking at a Series, basic tools are in place which allow you to create your own sort order, filter by title/date etc.

I have spotted an error with a bibliographic record, how can I get it changed?
The ADS holds no responsibility for the accuracy of metadata supplied to them. This information is supplied by the depositor/creator, and is presumed to be correct. The exception to this is where authors have been mis-matched. Please email ADS Helpdesk. with details and we’re happy to resolve.

How can I get my series to appear on the Library front page?
Please email ADS Helpdesk. with an image and form of words (max 125) you’d like to appear.

How can I find reports relating to a specific location?
The Library is currently lacking a designated spatial search. Over half the records we hold do not have any form of spatial metadata, such as grid reference or place name. Generating this metadata, and introducing functions such as a map view are ongoing priorities. In the interim, the Search page can be used to search on title name, and has a country facet to allow a very broad filter.

If you’re interested in unpublished reports from England and Scotland, the option to Browse by Organisation allows you to filter reports by Local Authority level. For example if you are interested in reports from Devon, Got to Browse > Browse by Organisation. Use the filter to search by the HER name (e.g. “Devon”). You should see the Historic Environment Record (HER) listed in your results. Click on the name and you’ll see a full list of OASIS reports reviewed by that organisation. Please note that the list may take a few seconds to generate if dealing with large numbers of records. This method is not infallible, but we hope it is helpful whilst we introduce a better system.

What do the different licences mean?
We've made a short video to explain the differences in licences

All reports and articles deposited with us are done so under a deposit licence, which covers the terms of re-use. The default licence since 2018 has been the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (otherwise known as CC-BY 4.0). Certain projects are deposited under variations of CC licences, and many older projects are covered by a form of ADS bespoke licence. In each case, the download page contains a description of the licence that object was deposited under, with a hyperlink so you can understand what you can do with the content, and attribution requirements. If you are ever in doubt over reusing content from the Library, please email ADS Helpdesk.

Why can’t I get a download for certain records?
Not all records have an object to download. This is normally because these are Bibliographic records inherited from BIAB, or supplied by Publishers such as Oxbow (see Where a download or link to externally online content is not available, a Bibliographic note explains the status of the record.

There are records associated with me that shouldn’t be, why, and how do I fix it?
This is normally because of historic attempts to manually and programmatically rationalise and merge duplicate authors into a single entity. This has not always had optimal results. If you spot any problems with content attribution, please email ADS Helpdesk with the details and we will resolve at the earliest opportunity.

I want to change the details for me in the database, how do I do this?
Please email ADS Helpdesk with the details of the changes required, and we will resolve at the earliest opportunity.

Can I get Access Statistics for an individual file or records?
If you have a request for bespoke Access statistics, please email ADS Helpdesk ith details. Please be aware that although we will endeavour to produce a response for every request, on occasion there are technical limitations to what can be achieved.

How does the Search page work?
Have a look at this short video which explains the background to the Search Index, and provides a short example of how to use it.

On the Search page, can I change the date range in that filter without resetting my query??
Yes. The options in the left-hand section uses a basic faceted classification, which organises records according to simple semantic groups. Each facet you select allows you to drill down deeper into a set of search results. You will see the facets as text bubbles at the top of the page of results. If you want to change the date range then simply remove the facet using the small delete icon, and then use the facet to select a new date range. Have a look at this short video which explains the background to the Search Index, and provides a short example of how to use it.

Why do only certain records have a download available?
The ADS Library contains records from a number of sources including the ADS Archives, the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography and archaeological publishers such as Oxbow. Only records that are associated with an ADS archive have a direct download available.

Why are my publications mixed up with someone else's?
The ADS Library attempts to match authors with existing people in the ADS Library database, this allows individuals to have their own page of publications and users to browse by author. However, the matching process can occasionally mismatch people, especially if they have similar or the same names. If this has happened to your publications, please let us know and we will correct the records.

How do I add my book/journal?
When you deposit data for long-term preservation with the ADS, all appropriate textual material, such as articles or monographs, will be added to the ADS Library. Find out more about depositing data here.

How do I just search for reports?
You can restrict your search to reports by choosing "Report" in the "Publication Type" facet on the left of the screen in the ADS Library. You can also restrict your search to monographs and journals in this way. We've made a short video tutorial to explain how to do this, see

How do I search for records where the files are immediately available?
You can search for records where downloadable files are immediately available by choosing "Available from ADS" (with the ADS logo in green) in the "Access Type" facet on the left of the screen in the ADS Library. Records with a house and book symbol only have a bibliographic record, a chain link symbol means the bibliographic record has a corresponding web link. We've made a short video tutorial to explain how to do this, see

Why are there duplicate versions of a record?
The records in the ADS Library have come from a number of sources, therefore it is possible that a single publication was recorded in several of the sources. When creating the ADS Library an attempt was made to match these duplicates together and merge the records. However, if there was an inconsistency between the records, such as how the title was spelt for example, the records may not have been matched, resulting in two or more records for the same publication. If you have found a duplicate record please email the ADS Helpdesk.

How long does it take for an OASIS report to be available in the ADS Library?
The time it takes for an OASIS record to enter the ADS Library can vary depending on a number of factors. Once you have submitted your completed OASIS record, together with an attached report, it is validated by the local Historic Environment Record or Historic England. The time this takes can differ depending on the region you are working in. Once this validation has taken place the report is released to ADS where it enters our preservation process. Once the report enters the ADS preservation process, it can take up to a month before it is accessible via the ADS Library. A further delay can occur if an ADS deposit licence has not been signed by the organisation submitting the report.

What does the 'Source' field mean in an ADS Library record?
The 'Source' field indicates where the record orginated from. For example, a 'Source' of 'The British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB)' means the record originates from the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography before it was transferred to the ADS Library. A full list of ADS Library Sources can be found here.

Are there any tutorials or online guides on how to use the Library?
Yes! There's a growing number of Video Tutorials on our Vimeo Channel