The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) is the leading accredited digital repository for data generated by the archaeology, heritage and historic environment sectors. Founded in 1996, we are the only UK-wide repository for archaeological research data. This has particular importance as it often forms the primary record of the evidence derived from a destructive activity e.g. archaeological excavation - that cannot be repeated. The scope and nature of what is considered heritage data and is suitable for deposit with the ADS is defined in our Collections Policy. The core activity of the ADS is the long-term digital preservation of the data that has been entrusted to us. To do this we follow a policy of active data management and curation to ensure the integrity, reliability and accessibility in perpetuity of all data entrusted to our care. We currently host c.1.4 million metadata records for the archaeology of the British Isles, over 60,000 unpublished fieldwork reports, and over 2000 data rich archives for research and fieldwork projects. The ADS holds the Core Trust Seal and endeavours to work within a framework generally conforming to the ISO 14721:2012 specification of a reference model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS) as defined by a recommendation of the Consultative Committee for Space Data Systems. Our Preservation Policy sets out a series of strict requirements for our digital preservation activities, which follow archival best practice and are the culmination of over 20 years of experience in digital preservation. Our Preservation Policy is supported by our Repository Operations Policy, our Data Ingest Manual and a series of internal data procedure documents. All our Policies are reviewed annually to ensure that we meet our Strategic Plan, accreditation requirements and adhere to nationally and internationally agreed standards for the preservation of digital material. The ADS is an associate member of the Digital Preservation Coalition (DPC) and proactively engages with the preservation community to stay at the forefront of digital preservation. The ADS is also a founding member of the Bedern Group, an alliance of key UK agencies concerned with the preservation of the intellectual record of the historic environment and has Memoranda of Understanding with many of our key Stakeholder organisations.
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