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Digital Archaeological Archiving Policies and Practice in Europe: the EAC call for action

The digital transition in archaeology is often taken for granted, yet the process is far from complete. The topic of digital archiving has been addressed by both the EAC Working Group for Archaeological Archives and the SEADDA COST Action. These two entities joined forces to produce a special issue of Internet Archaeology in 2021, bringing together contributions on digital archiving practices from over two dozen countries.

The articles were later analysed by EAC and SEADDA to compare the international situation. The results reveal both shared difficulties associated with the issue of documentary archives worldwide and examples of good practices that help to overcome these problems.

A questionnaire survey was also carried out to complement the findings resulting from the interpretation of the published articles, with supporting data covering the whole European area in a balanced way. The survey allowed for the compilation of an overview of the situation in 27 countries (30 regions) of Europe. All respondents were experts involved in digital archiving and/or heritage data management in individual countries. Based on the collected information, the discrepancy between the value of archaeological data and its position within heritage management practice is already proving to be a major shortcoming.

Now the EAC have issued a new article in Internet Archaeology 63 summarising the results achieved and presenting proposed approaches to improve the situation in digital archaeological archiving. It concludes, among other things, by proposing a set of guiding principles for archiving primary archaeological data.


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