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Mar 15 / hanreitz

Planning for a Sustainable Digital Archaeological Record

Keith Kintigh and Jeffrey Altschul, both members of Digital Antiquity’s Board of Directors, recently published the article “Sustaining the Digital Archaeological Record” in Heritage Management. This forum piece, which appears in a special issue on digital curation, addresses the need for long-term financial planning in the development of Digital Antiquity and its repository, the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR).

The authors make the case that the best financial model for long-term access to, integration, maintenance and preservation of digital archaeological data is a “contributor pays” system. Costs for digital curation, like the costs required for the curation of collections and associated paper records from archaeological projects, can be incorporated as part of the overall cost of individual projects.  The charges for digital curation can be kept relatively low if large numbers of projects individual fund it.  Archeologists must stress that digital curation is an essential aspect of preserving the archaeological record –a professional and ethical responsibility.