Digital Archiving of Midwest Archeological Center Archeological Reports for Preservation and Public Access

  • Pierce-McManamon, Francis (PI)

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

The Midwest Archeological Center (MWAC) was established in Lincoln, Nebraska in 1969 as an office of the National Park Service. Prior to that, the center had served for twentythree years as the Missouri Basin Project, River Basin Surveys, Smithsonian Institution. The origins of the Center lie in the study of Great Plains archeology, but center archaeologists regularly conduct archeological investigations from the Rocky Mountains to the Ohio River valley, and from Arkansas to Canada. The Center provides innovative and effective research and resource management services to parks and other partners. The Center is dedicated to the study, interpretation and preservation of archeological resources within the National Park System. The Center is also dedicated to providing professional support and consultation to other federal, state and local government agencies. Recent investigations have involved research on sites ranging from 10,000 year old American Indian campsites to the garbage in Abraham Lincoln's backyard. Center staff provide nationally recognized expertise in battlefield studies, forensic archeology, geophysical surveys, fur trade studies, rock art and a wide range of other research specializations. One result of its long history of archaeological investigations is the compilation of hundreds of reports, other documentation, data sets, and other records from these studies. The MWAC currently has 135 reports in digital formats (as searchable pdf files) available. Many of these reports originally were made available in very limited quantities (usually less than 50 copies) to professional archaeologists and various libraries. Most of the reports are now out-of-print and not available. In order to make these documents and other materials more readily accessible for other research and educational uses, and to ensure its long term preservation, the MWAC is developing a relationship with the Center for Digital Antiquity (DA) to place digital copies of reports and other appropriate material into the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), the digital archive for archaeological information maintained by DA. The Center for Digital Antiquity is a collaborative, non-profit organization founded to promote and improve the access to and long-term preservation of archaeological documents and data. DA currently is hosted by Arizona State University (ASU). The Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) is the digital repository specifically developed to store, preserve and provide access to archaeological data sets, documents, and other kinds of related digital files. One primary goal of DA is to ensure that tDAR stays relevant by continually improving the software and adopting new technologies as they are developed thereby ensuring agencies that reports and data are available for the long-term. Digital Antiquity and tDAR can help Federal agencies meet their legal mandate to publish the results of their cultural resource projects, but also to make them available to as broad a public audience as possible, while realizing that some of the material is sensitive and needs to be restricted to qualified researchers.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/1/113/31/15

Funding

  • DOI: National Park Service (NPS): $61,173.00

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