Sustaining the Digital Archaeological Record

Author(s): Keith Kintigh; Jeffrey Altschul

Year: 2010


We conceptualized the anticipated costs of running the Center for Digital Antiquity and the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) as either fixed or variable and as either present or future costs. Fixed costs, such as the salary of the Executive Director, are those that are essentially independent of the volume of data that come into the digital repository or the amount of use of the archive. The variable costs are those that are expected to increase with the volume of data, such as computer storage and staff salaries for providing user help. Present costs are those incurred at approximately the same time as the data are acquired, such as salaries for processing and review of the incoming data. Future costs are the long-term anticipated costs for such things as migration of data as digital formats and media change and the future costs of computer storage. A sustainable financial model, then, must provide for both the present and future costs.

To accomplish the movement of a substantial fraction of the data from prospective projects into trusted repositories is a tall order and the need is pressing. It will require not just an effective organization and strong software tools; it will also involve a commitment from the archeological community and government agencies, a change in archaeological work flows, and eventually, a revision of our expectations regarding professional behavior. We need to reach the stage that archiving professional records with high quality metadata in a trusted repository is not the exception but the norm.

Cite this Record

Sustaining the Digital Archaeological Record. Keith Kintigh, Jeffrey Altschul. Heritage Management. 3 (2): 264-274. 2010 ( tDAR id: 376850) ; doi:10.6067/XCV87H1HWV



Investigation Types
Heritage Management

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Keith Kintigh; Jeffrey Altschul

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