The Alexandria Archive Institute (AAI) and the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) recently announced a partnership for DAI to provide mirror hosting and backups for AAI’s innovative data publishing program for archaeology, Open Context.

The AAI is a non-profit entity supporting research and development to enhance scholarly communications and instruction through innovative use of Web-based publication, with a focus on primary data—information that rarely sees dissemination. The primary focus of AAI’s work is Open Context, an open access Web-based publication system for archaeology and other field sciences.

The DAI, one of the world’s largest institutional sponsors of archaeological research, runs a vast array of scientific and cultural heritage preservation programs worldwide. To support these activities, the DAI has recently built a powerful cloud computing infrastructure which has been made available to the AAI.

This partnership between the DAI and Open Context represents an important milestone in bringing archaeology to the 21st century. Archaeological research creates digital data of tremendous scale and complexity, making it extremely challenging to manage. The partnership pairs DAI’s successes in digital preservation (through their IANUS project) with Open Context’s powerful model for open access publication of rich data sets, image collections, maps, and other content that until now, rarely saw public exposure.

This marks the beginning of a new phase of collaboration to make information sharing easier and more efficient. Over the next year, the DAI will pilot use of Open Context for disseminating their own data, starting with zooarchaeological collections. Additional collaboration will centre on developing Open Context’s open-sourced software to support multiple languages and expand its capabilities for data visualization and analysis. At the same time, mirroring Open Context on the DAI cloud more than doubles Open Context’s capacity and performance while providing additional permanent safeguards for the irreplaceable data it publishes.

For further information, see: