Archaeological Data Archive Project personnel are working with scholars to bring data sets to the archive. The process is moving along, but the documentation requirements are not trivial, as all are learning. It will serve no purpose to house files that are not fully explained; so documentation is critical - but very time-consuming.
Work to bring data sets to the archive has prompted some further organization, and a directory structure has been designed to allow easier access to the system. The ADAP base directory will be called EXCAVATE, and each project will have a single directory within EXCAVATE, using a name chosen by the project personnel. Each project directory will have subdirectories for bibliographic files, database files, CAD files, images, text files, and so on. In the basic directory for each project will be a set of explanatory and introductory files.
The directory structure described should not be taken to indicate that all files will be on-line. In fact, relatively few files will be kept on-line at all times. The plan is to keep the introductory and explanatory files on-line for all directories and to add entire subdirectory structures when requested to do so. Otherwise, the requirements for on-line storage would be too great. Subdirectory files will be stored off-line on removable disks. (The original plans called for use of optical disks for archival and near-on-line storage, but discussions with various experts have lead ADAP personnel to decide to use CD-ROMs instead, although that decision will not be final until the equipment must actually be purchased.)
As data files are being prepared for the archive, ADAP personnel are also working on the structure of the database that will serve as the index to the system. Information about files stored in the archive will be available on-line in the form of a set of data tables. (See "A Database About Databases" in the last issue of the Newsletter.) In addition, the ADAP index will, to the extent possible, include all machine readable files from archaeological fieldwork or later scholarship. That is, the index will include information about machine readable resources known to the ADAP, whether stored in the archive or elsewhere.
Such an index, of course, will only be truly useful if enough scholars make known to the ADAP the files they hold and some information about them. A call has gone out on various computer lists to encourage scholars to tell the ADAP about their files, and the same request is made here. Please contact Harrison Eiteljorg, II, Director, ADAP, Box 60 Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 (current email: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have machine readable files that you wish to have included in the index. Such files need not be publicly available to be included, and ADAP personnel will assist with the process of preparing information for the index.
For further information on the ADAP project and the contents of its archives, please visit the ADAP homepage and the description of its archives. For other Newsletter articles concerning the ADAP consult the Subject index.
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