Posted on 22 June 2013
The department’s Archaeology Data Service (ADS) was nominated in the Outstanding Library Team category of the prestigious Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards (THELMAs). The awards were announced on Thursday 20 June at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, and the ADS narrowly missed the top prize.
The ADS is not a traditional library. It has no library building, and no physical books or manuscripts, but it is a library in every other sense. ADS has an online catalogue of over 1.1 million items, 20,000 unpublished fieldwork reports, 20,000 journal articles, and 500 rich data archives, ranging from single research projects, such as Sutton Hoo, to major transport infrastructure projects, such as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. All these collections can be referenced via a permanent Digital Object Identifier (DOI), provided in partnership with the British Library and DataCite.
A team of 15 ‘data librarians’ are dedicated to providing free online access to ADS’s holdings, to anyone throughout the world, supporting research, learning and teaching and preserving our collections in perpetuity. The data ‘library’ and archiving model pre-date the current drive to Open Access and has been emulated around the world by countries who are seeking to establish similar initiatives. ADS’s success is also evidenced by the wider academic environment and, in 2012, the team also won the Digital Preservation Coalition’s Decennial Award for the most outstanding contribution to digital preservation over the last decade. The team was also a key contributing factor in the successful nomination of the University of York for a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011.