Archaeological Data in the Cloud: Collaboration and Accessibility with the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS)
The burgeoning Open Science movement has inspired the growth of a variety of archaeological and anthropological digital data repositories. Many of these repositories, however, have different methods and goals for curating digital data. With increasing pressure from granting agencies to create a data management plan, archaeologists and anthropologists looking to curate their data must navigate between these different offerings and select the best option to meet the needs of their particular dataset and research goals. This chapter will compare the different types of digital archives and repositories and then use the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS, www.daacs.org) as a case study to explicate some of the challenges inherent in curating archaeological data. DAACS is dedicated to preserving and presenting legacy collections, and to making recently excavated site data available to the public within a year of excavation. This is a model that could be employed to document not only archaeological assemblages, but also museum objects, texts, and other media. DAACS methods highlight the benefits and challenges for scholars of any discipline who seek to engage in data for not just long-term curation and sharing but also research.
KeywordsArchaeology Artifacts Atlantic World Caribbean Chesapeake Database Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery (DAACS) Jamaica Material culture Plantation PostgreSQL Protocols Ruby-on-Rails SQL (Structure Query Language) Slavery Virginia
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