digital archives

I need some guidance…

…actually, I don’t. I’ve spent a bit of time over the last couple of weeks thinking about what to commit to ‘paper’ for my Day of Archaeology piece but, in the end, the logical thing to write about has been sat in front of me for the last ten days. As a Digital Archivist at the Archaeology Data Service (ADS) my days can be quite diverse. The core of my job involves working on digital archives deposited with ADS from a variety of commercial or research projects. These datasets can range from small ‘report and image’ type archives from small-scale evaluation work through to large, complex datasets from bigger projects. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last few months working on the datasets from the ACCORD project and we’re just waiting on the final sign-off from the depositors before we can release the archive. The project focussed largely on Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI) and 3D models from photogrammetry, so lots and lots of images together with some interesting 3D data. For more info see the paper on the project’s methodology in the CAA 2014 Proceedings…and keep an eye out in the next few weeks for the archive!

But what I’ve mostly been focussed on is guidelines. Over the last couple of years I’ve been working on two tasks for the ARIADNE project looking at Good Practice and guidelines within the fourteen ARIADNE partner organisations across Europe. The initial task was to survey guidance and expertise across the partners and to summarise this in a report (available via the ARIADNE website). The results of the survey allowed key areas of expertise (or areas needing guidance) to be identified and to form the basis for the second task, the creation of new guides and contributions to the Guides to Good Practice. I’ve spent much of this week (and last) finalising a report on the work that has been undertaken on the Guides. A guide on dendrochronological data and the TRiDaS data standard has been contributed by DANS in the Netherlands alongside new case studies for dendro data and large datasets (again from DANS and from DAI in Germany). There’s also a guide looking at 3D datasets (ADS with DAI and DANS) in the pipeline along with an RTI guide and a new case study. It’s been great to work with so many European partners on areas of shared interest and benefit, something that I know we all hope can continue despite recent developments in the UK.