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Our own personal archaeological archives.....Any ideas?
#11
There you go then! That's the kind of stuff that needs preserving in some sort of 'public domain'. Unused data, musings, obscure observations, hypotheses needing testing etc. My management have an annoying habit of 'culling' perfectly good bits out of report discussions to save space where it's deemed not strictly relevant (although in our line of work what is and isn't relevant is often a grey area) - doesn't mean they shouldn't get preserved in some way even if not deemed fit for that particular vehicle? Archaeology tends to be a bit straight-laced, we need a forum where the slightly wilder ideas can be aired, for people to either prove or disprove them down the line
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#12
P Prentice Wrote:thank god for memoirs ............ with baited breath

Is there room in a good memoir for data and theories, in between salacious stories and gossip? Big Grin
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#13
barkingdigger Wrote:Is there room in a good memoir for data and theories, in between salacious stories and gossip? Big Grin

All sounds suspiciously Antiquarian to me! }Smile
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#14
One of the reasons for accessing my digital archives is that I am presenting a paper at TAG 2013 (Bournemouth) Dec 16th-18th in the session on the Archaeology of Thatcherism. My theme is an examination of the effects of the Thatcher premiership on field archaeology in the period 1979-1990 (coincidentally the first 10 years of my career as a field archaeologist). As far as I can ascertain there has been no written history of this period in the development of UK field archaeology, although undoubtedly events and the underlying economic and social philosophy prevalent during that period have created the archaeological environment in which we now all strive. This was the basis of my creation of this thread.

There are private, informal and illuminating personal archives out there that can inform much of what we do today. Further examination shows that I have my own notes relating to archives, properly deposited in the proper place at the proper time, for which there was no money available for publication at the time, but the open-ended promise that at some future date, etc etc. I am not saying my notes make any difference to the archive, but they could potentially present an alternative view to that which a later researcher might infer from the raw data. We are encouraged (at least by English Heritage's 'The Power of Place') to encompass the multi-vocality of our heritage, but at least in terms of archiving we don't seem to have the systems in place to represent anything other than the black and white view of paper, film and object. Its a shame and I suspect as more and more of us old lags drop out of the scene over time, a loss to both our shared heritage and our profession.....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#15
The big problem with any attempt to publish or archive information in any kind of volume, whether online or hard copy, is cost. You can throw out small mounts for nothing or next to nothing, but as soon as you want large amounts of data out there, someone has to pay. Which is fair enough - someone has to provide the web servers, run and maintain them, or provide, maintain and run some physical storage. One way I guess to do it would be to persuade an existing organ or facility to add such a feature to what they provide, covered by their advertising/subscriptions etc. I can't imagine the already hard-pressed museums being keen on it though. They have enough trouble with what they have.
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#16
Dinosaur Wrote:Archaeology tends to be a bit straight-laced, we need a forum where the slightly wilder ideas can be aired, for people to either prove or disprove them down the line


There is such a place, it's called the CBA forum!
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#17
This has always been a problem with Humans, how to pass on information without losing too much.

Much has been lost in mouldy journals piled in the crumbling cellars of publishing houses or museum/private collections and scrolls from the ancient libraries cast aside by new rulers.
Much knowledge is discovered, lost, forgotten, re-discovered, re-lost.

At the moment, if you forgive me for using such a crude term, the Cloud - i.e. mass storage on the internet - is the only answer. Well until someone builds that giant super-quantum-computer orbiting library of course.

Never looked into mass online storage or the costs, but I use my mail account(s) as a temporary - semi-permenant data storage.

However, I would have thought it would be fairly easy to either a) set up your own external hard drive storage (memory is always cheap) with back ups?
or
b) set up a constituted society, that folks can donate to, to pay for cheap or free storage of vast amounts of data on a cloud sever or something similar?
All you need is a constitution, some members and a society bank account.
Once that's set up you can then start applying for grant money,
Start running 'research projects' on your data.
Of course each project needs a project manager.....the usual going rate for project management fees is what, 10%.
Once your project managing several enough projects your getting quite a tidy income.

Well that's my retirement plan anyway }Smile

That and publishing my time-traveling diaries.
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#18
What you describe there is basically an HER, is it not?
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#19
Jack Wrote:This has always been a problem with Humans, how to pass on information without losing too much.

Much has been lost in mouldy journals piled in the crumbling cellars of publishing houses or museum/private collections and scrolls from the ancient libraries cast aside by new rulers.
Much knowledge is discovered, lost, forgotten, re-discovered, re-lost.

At the moment, if you forgive me for using such a crude term, the Cloud - i.e. mass storage on the internet - is the only answer. Well until someone builds that giant super-quantum-computer orbiting library of course.

Never looked into mass online storage or the costs, but I use my mail account(s) as a temporary - semi-permenant data storage.

However, I would have thought it would be fairly easy to either a) set up your own external hard drive storage (memory is always cheap) with back ups?
or
b) set up a constituted society, that folks can donate to, to pay for cheap or free storage of vast amounts of data on a cloud sever or something similar?
All you need is a constitution, some members and a society bank account.
Once that's set up you can then start applying for grant money,
Start running 'research projects' on your data.
Of course each project needs a project manager.....the usual going rate for project management fees is what, 10%.
Once your project managing several enough projects your getting quite a tidy income.

Well that's my retirement plan anyway }Smile

That and publishing my time-traveling diaries.

As far as I'm aware, and I'm about as computer-literate as a small boiled cabbage, small-volume cloud storage is free, but again, larger volumes cost. But, it does sound like a good idea. The whole concept sounds good to me - I'd certainly be interested in reading people's thoughts on archaeology. There is always a danger that peer-reviewed, or published interpretations in general, err towards the safe. It's good once in a while to have that challenged.
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#20
Trouble with all this is that you're fighting a losing battle against the Third Law of Thermodynamics - the one paraphrased as "you must lose". It's always much harder to maintain stuff than it was to create it in the first place, and any "cloud" solution is going to run into the buffers of Funding and Management eventually. The best chance of preservation is still a published manuscript, but that takes a lot of effort and cash up front.

I just accept that if the world really wants to know my secrets, it'll just have to prolong my life! Big Grin
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