Evaluating a Cooperative Approach to the Management of Digital Archaeological Records

Author(s): Sara Rivers Cofield; Jodi Reeves Eyre

Year: 2014


The Department of Defense (DoD) needs efficient access to data from past archaeological investigations at its installations in order to avoid sudden, unpredicted site discoveries that delay mission-oriented activities, programs, and projects. The ECAMDAR project is a test case designed to evaluate whether and how an online repository for digital archaeological and cultural resource management (CRM) data and information developed and managed by the Center for Digital Antiquity (Digital Antiquity) can fulfill this need. Digital Antiquity’s online repository is tDAR (the Digital Archaeological Record).

With funding from Defense Legacy, digital files from archaeological projects at 23 DoD installations in Maryland and Virginia have been uploaded to tDAR, which is accessible through the tDAR website via the internet. This study finds that through tDAR, Digital Antiquity is able to ensure long-term preservation and accessibility of digital archaeological records while maintaining security by enabling DoD CRM officials to control and limit access to sensitive files. As files were uploaded for this project, DA-tDAR worked with physical archaeological collections repositories to develop procedures that address the backlog of digital files that are held locally at the repositories, but not currently in a viable long-term digital archive. These procedures may be applied to other DoD installations with pre-existing digital records. It is also important for current and new archaeological projects that the digital files created are placed in a digital archaeological data repository so that no further backlog of digital data develops. We suggest tDAR for this purpose.

This project demonstrates that it is more cost effective for the DoD to pay one-time fees for uploading of digital files to Digital Antiquity than it would be for the DoD to establish and maintain individual specialized departments or staff for the management of digital archaeological data at the installation or regional level. Finally, this study finds that the DoD should consider partnership with Digital Antiquity for the preservation and management of digital files generated by current and future archaeological projects.

Cite this Record

Evaluating a Cooperative Approach to the Management of Digital Archaeological Records. Sara Rivers Cofield, Jodi Reeves Eyre. Department of Defense Legacy Resource Managment Program Project ,No. 13-711. Washington, DC: Department of Defense Legacy Resource Managment Program. 2014 ( tDAR id: 393996) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8WH2R30

Spatial Coverage

min long: -78.376; min lat: 36.527 ; max long: -75.059; max lat: 39.825 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contributor(s): Francis McManamon; Michael Smolek; adam brin; Grant Snitker; Amanda Vtipil; Chelsea Walter

Principal Investigator(s): Sara Rivers Cofield

Collaborator(s): Center for Digital Antiquity

Prepared By(s): Maryland Archaeology Conservation Laboratory

Submitted To(s): Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program

Record Identifiers

Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management Program Project Number(s): 13-711

File Information

  Name Size Creation Date Date Uploaded Access
ECAMDAR-Project-Report-Final-12-30.pdf 5.39mb Dec 30, 2014 Mar 31, 2015 4:03:23 PM Public
Final Draft of the ECAMDAR report
Fact-sheet-13-711-ECAMDAR.pdf 45.91kb Mar 31, 2015 4:05:14 PM Public