chapter  9
22 Pages

Managing Digital Preservation and Access: The Archaeology Data Service

For the past 100 years the preservation of that record has largely been taken for granted. At the completion of a project the archive – including notebooks, plan and section drawings, fi les of recording proforma, and photographs – would be boxed up and deposited with the appropriate museum or archive where it would be accessioned and consigned to a dusty shelf. Such archives were relatively stable, and although they might not be regularly used – if at all – it was a pretty safe bet that, short of war, fi re, or fl ood, they would still be there in 50 or 100 years (McAdam 1999). It also became standard practice that a fairly exhaustive journal or monograph publication of the results of the research be kept, although in most countries the scale of fi eldwork combined with the range of data now recorded – and the cost of traditional publication – has led to a backlog, if not a crisis, in publication (Jones et al. 2001). Once more, however, so long as a hard-copy report was published on paper its longevity was more or less guaranteed. Copies would be distributed to academic libraries around the world, and although few were read from cover to cover, the intellectual content was safe for future generations of scholars.