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New award caps Archaeology's great year

Posted on 4 December 2012

The University of York's Department of Archaeology capped a landmark year when it was recognised for its outstanding contribution to safeguarding digital resources for the future.

As part of its tenth anniversary celebrations, the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) awarded its Decennial Award, for an outstanding contribution to digital preservation, to the Department’s Archaeology Data Service.

York beat off intense competition from Library of Congress, the National Archives, and the International Internet Preservation Consortium, to take the award at a ceremony at the Wellcome Collection in London last night.

In February this year, the University received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education in recognition of the Department’s influential role in broadening the scope of the discipline. Her Majesty, accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh, presented the Prize at a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.

In July, ADS received the British Archaeological Award for Best Archaeological Innovation of 2012 in recognition of technical innovations it developed which allowed thousands of hitherto unpublished fieldwork reports to be made freely available online to any user.

The Decennial Prize – the DPC’s most prestigious – is awarded specially to mark the tenth anniversary of the founding of the DPC. It recognises the most outstanding work over the decade that the DPC has existed. After a painstaking assessment, an expert panel selected finalists from New York, Washington and London as well as York.

ADS has developed and thrived with an innovative business model that allows it to preserve an extraordinary range of data while providing free access to all comers.  It ensures the longevity of data that would rapidly be lost or obsolete, as well as having an impressive track record of research and innovation. 

This prestigious award is a fitting tribute to the hard work and commitment of ADS staff over the years

Dr John Schofield

Its Director, Professor Julian Richards who accepted the award from Dame Lynne Brindley, said: “Winning this award is an outstanding achievement for the ADS and it is extremely gratifying to have the last decade’s effort and hard work recognised by our peers. The ADS was up against some stiff competition to win this first decennial award, so we are particularly thrilled that work undertaken in the Department of Archaeology at the University of York has received this tremendous accolade.”

Head of Archaeology at York, Dr John Schofield added: “This prestigious award is a fitting tribute to the hard work and commitment of ADS staff over the years. The Department of Archaeology is delighted at their continued success.”

William Kilbride, Executive Director of the DPC said: “These awards are important in showcasing the creative solutions that have been developed towards digital preservation.  Digital preservation is critical. We know that significant parts of the economy, industry, research, government and the public life depend on the opportunities information technology creates, but the rapid churn in technology means data is also surprisingly fragile. We are the first generation that’s had to think about handing on a digital legacy, so we need to act quickly to develop the skills and techniques that will ensure our legacy is protected.” 

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153

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