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Approaches to Data Management, Curation, and Preservation for Digital Archaeology Using tDAR with Leigh Anne Ellison and Adam Brin


Instructor: Leigh Anne Ellison and Adam Brin

Where: Online

Duration: 120 Minutes

When: Thursday, June 22nd - 9:30am PDT

Cost: $75

What you will learn: Archaeologists have incorporated digital technologies in their work for decades. In recent years, however, the pace at which digital data are generated has become overwhelming and the variety of digital data and issues around using and preserving these data have increased considerably. In this workshop you will learn how to approach the issues surrounding digital curation and digital preservation from planning for data collection and writing your data management plan, to submitting your materials to a digital repository. Using tDAR, we will demonstrate how to organize, upload, and share (as appropriate) your digital archaeological information. With contributions by Francis P. McManamon, Executive Director.

  • Why digital curation and preservation are important.
  • Understanding Digital Repositories and their unique role:
    • What is a digital repository and what isn't.
    • Locating the right digital repository for your project.
    • What does a digital repository actually do, and what questions should you be asking before you deposit data in it?
    • What types of materials should you send to a digital repository.
    • What should you budget for in terms of both time and costs when archiving your materials.
  • How to deal with issues surrounding your data:
    • Data ownership and copyright issues.  
    • Dealing with sensitive and confidential information.
    • What to do about “big” or “unique” file formats (LIDAR, 3-D scans, etc.).
    • What are the best practices for managing and archiving the data you’re generating.
    • Backing up your data.
  • How to build a roadmap for digital data management from planning to archiving and data reuse:
    • Identifying critical components of a data management plan, and how to write one.
    • How should you prioritize your approach to archiving, and what should you triage?
    • Balancing active data collection and use with archiving and preservation.
    • Documenting your digital footprint as you go, trackers, and metadata.

Hands-on Experience:

  • Learn about tDAR, how it’s built, and what makes it a purpose-built repository for archaeology.
  • Upload files to tDAR and add metadata.
  • Grant and control access.

Types of Data to be discussed:

Datasets (including issues of dealing with “live” data)

Instructor Bios:  Adam Brin is the Director of Technology for the Center for Digital Antiquity and the technical lead for The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR). Adam has spent his career at the intersection of cultural heritage and technology, providing consulting and programming services to museums, libraries, and other organizations. Adam has worked with NASA, the Internet Archive, the University of California as well as major Art Museums around the world to build and manage digital libraries and archives. As Director of Technology, Adam is responsible for the design, development, and maintenance of tDAR.

Leigh Anne Ellison is the Program Manager for the Center for Digital Antiquity. Her previous professional experience includes work as a Project Director for archaeological fieldwork in Mexico and Honduras, where she studied social variability among commoners. She also has considerable field experience in the US, working as a Field Archaeologist on various projects throughout Hawaii, Arizona, and Colorado. Ellison is a Registered Professional Archaeologist, and holds a Master’s degree in Anthropology from Northern Arizona University and a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Art History from Wellesley College. Leigh Anne advocates globally for Digital Antiquity and the use of tDAR for the long-term preservation of and access to archaeological data.