We’ve got great news! We have reduced prices significantly. As of 14 July 2015, it costs only $10 to upload a single file (up to 10MB) to tDAR. This is a significant decrease compared to the former price of $50 per file.

In recent months, we undertook a careful evaluation of operating costs and reviewed the consistent stream of new tDAR clients and DIY digital preservation customers.  Based on these factors, The Center for Digital Antiquity’s Board of Directors and Arizona State University’s financial administrators approved a significant reduction in price to upload digital content to tDAR for long term access, discoverability, and preservation.

This change will be of interest particularly for contributors who upload small quantities of digital files and create the metadata records on their own. Larger clients also will benefit because the low rate of $5/file now applies for purchases of 100 or more files. Check out the full new price list below or visit our new pricing page.

Digital Preservation


1-99 files*


100+ files


Curation Services


File Checking, Metadata Drafting, Basic Quality Control, etc.


Consulting, Planning, Programming, Management, etc.


*Each tDAR file comes with 10MB of space.  To upload digital resources larger than 10MB simply purchase additional tDAR files.


You can easily purchase exactly the number of files and storage space that you need using our price calculator and your credit card just like before.  Of course, our digital curators, project managers, and technical staff are always happy to work with you on a customized project for an hourly rate as well. 
Digital preservation fees fund the long-term care of files in tDAR; access to public data and protection of confidential information; data security; customer service; and, advocacy and professional training for proper digital curation of all archaeological materials.

tDAR is a domain repository in which data and information about and from archaeological resources, investigations, and related topics. In tDAR, data and information are curated, discoverable, accessible, and preserved for future use.  tDAR is developed and maintained by the Center for Digital Antiquity, a not-for-profit center at Arizona State University.
Our promise to broaden the access to archaeological data and dedication ensuring preservation will continue to thrive with your support!

We are back in Tempe after a whirlwind week in San Francisco for the annual Society for American Archaeology meetings.  It was a pleasure to meet so many tDAR users and contributors (current and future) face-to-face!  If you were a presenter at this year’s meetings we hope you will take advantage of the SAA 2015 tDAR Abstract Project.  We’ve collaborated with SAA to make it possible for all presenters to add a copy of their paper, presentation, poster or other supplementary data (up to 3 files/30 mb) to their abstract in tDAR.  You can also edit the metadata for your record by adding more information.  Here are some instructions for getting started:

Find your Abstract

Enter your last name, or the title of your SAA Poster or Paper
  • Register for tDAR.
  • Contact us at via email at SAA2015@tdar.org or by phone at (480) 965-1593 and let us know your name, presentation title and how many files you plan to upload (up to 3/30MB).  
  • We will give you access to the abstract record(s) and email you a voucher to cover the cost of your upload.
  • Log-in to tDAR  
  • Head over to tDAR’s pricing page (core.tdar.org/cart/add)
  • Enter your voucher number in the “Redeem Code” field
  • Click “Next: Review & Choose Payment Method.” Your credit will be added to your account and you can begin uploading files! 
  • Navigate to your abstract record, either by locating it from among your resources under the “browse resources ” section of your dashboard (accessed by clicking “dashboard” along the top menu), or by searching for it on the search page.
  • From your abstract page, select “edit” from the top menu.  You may now add or change any of the metadata or keywords as well as attach a file.

We are gearing up for the San Francisco SAA meetings and we want to see you!   You can find us at our booth in the exhibit hall (#501) from 9AM to 5PM Thursday through Saturday. 

We have a lot to share—first and foremost, if you haven’t seen tDAR live and in action one of our expert digital curators will be able to walk you through finding materials in the archive, as well as the simple steps necessary to preserve a digital file.  We can discuss how to go about conceptualizing and creating a digital archive, or how to organize your materials in tDAR. 

If you are a presenter at this year’s SAAs we have an exciting opportunity for you to experience contributing to tDAR at no cost.  All 2015 SAA abstracts will be available in tDAR as citation records.  Presenters are able to upload a copy of the presentation and associated data (up to 3 files totaling 30MB) to tDAR.  Stop by the booth  and we’ll walk you through the upload process or provide you with instructions for completing the upload at a later date. This is a great opportunity to share and preserve your archaeological data!

Budgeting your digital data archive can be a challenge, but we are here to help.  Ask any of our staff for guidance on developing a budget for a grant proposal or scope of work that will ensure all of the digital material you generate is properly cared for in perpetuity.   We’d be delighted to tell you about our new, reduced rates for long-term digital curation!

Where else can you find us?

Booth: The Center for Digital Antiquity and the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR), Thursday-Saturday 9AM to 5PM, Exhibit Hall #501

Workshop: Best Practices for the Curation of Digital Archaeological Data and Information, Francis McManamon, Jodi Reeves Flores, and Leigh Anne Ellison, Wednesday 1-5PM, Continental Ballroom Parlor 3 (advance registration required)

Forum: Diverse Digital Archaeologies, Francis McManamon, Thursday 8-10AM, Union Square 25

Forum: The Prospects and Challenges of Faunal Data Integration and Comparative Analysis, Katherine Spielmann and Keith Kintigh, Thursday 1-3PM, Golden Gate 1

Poster: Best Practices for Good Digital Curation, Francis McManamon and Julian Richards, Thursday 6-8PM, Grand Ballroom A

Poster: Evaluating a Cooperative Approach to the Management of Digital Archaeological Records (ECAMDAR): A Defense Legacy Project Assessing tDAR for the Department of Defense, Sara Rivers Cofield and Jodi Reeves Flores, Thursday 6-8PM, Grand Ballroom A

Poster: Synthesizing Legacy Data: Using tDAR’s Data Integration Tool, Leigh Anne Ellison and Adam Brin, Thursday 6-8PM, Grand Ballroom A

Poster: The Digital Legacy of Public Archaeology in the Phoenix Basin, Arizona, Lauren Jelinek, Jon Czaplicki, and M. Scott Thompson, Thursday 6-8PM, Grand Ballroom A

Paper: Managing ‘A Mountain’ of Rock Art Digital Data, Jodi Reeves Flores and M. Scott Thompson, Saturday 3:30PM, Imperial Ballroom A

We’ve also got new swag and great giveaways.  Visit our booth in the exhibit hall early to secure your Digital Antiquity sticker or tDAR jump drive, and enter to win one of our daily giveaways that include books, digital storage media, and a grand prize digital preservation package in tDAR!

Modern archaeological investigations both produce and rely upon digital data: photographs taken in the field, GIS information, analytical and descriptive data sets, project reports, etc. These new data add to an existing, although underutilized, backlog of archaeological information, some of it in digital formats, some not. Without a well thought-out approach to data management, important information, whether in digital formats or not, will be overlooked or lost because it is forgotten, misplaced or damaged. Good digital data management requires attention to the means of data storage, aspects of archiving data, how data are to be preserved, and the curation of data so that is discoverable, accessible, and usable.

Digital Antiquity Staff will be hosting a workshop at the 2015 Society for American Archaeology meetings in San Francisco, on the background of data management, how good data management is organized, and tools and methods that they can integrate into their existing project and research workflows to ensure good management of digital data. Participants in the workshop will be introduced to the types of digital repositories that are available and where they can browse, access and download archaeological documents, data sets, images, and other kinds of archaeological information. Archaeologists, whether they work in CRM, for government agencies, or in academic positions, can use digital repositories to store, organize, and promote their archaeological work.

The workshop will focus on case studies and examples in tDAR (the Digital Archaeological Record). Participants will learn how to access and use resources in the repository and curate and manage CRM reports, data sets, photographs, GIS files, and other archaeologically relevant digital resources. Participants will need to bring their own laptop computer with wireless capabilities and a file (such as a report, dissertation, dataset, etc.) to upload to tDAR as part of the workshop.

Participants will receive a voucher for one free file (up to 10 MB) and a free copy of Caring for Digital Data in Archaeology: A Guide to Good Practice (for a total value of $80).

We also encourage you to stop by our booth in the exhibit hall.  Digital Antiquity staff will be on hand all week to answer your questions and give you a personalized tour of tDAR.  You can even sign up in advance for a 15 minute meeting with one of us to ensure you don’t have to wait!  Click here to access the calendar and select your time.

The Society for American Archaeology supports a generous tDAR benefit for student members, and time is running out to take advantage of this offer for 2014! All SAA student members are eligible for a voucher that allows them to upload three files (totaling 30MB) to tDAR, valued at $150.  This is a wonderful opportunity to develop good digital archiving habits, and to preserve and make accessible your archaeological information.  Students have used these in a variety of ways.  For example, Angela Huster used hers to archive the data associated with her publication in Advances in Archaeological Practice.  Saul Hedquist turned a class paper into a conference poster, and archived the data set, the poster, and the references in tDAR.

You need not be as far along with your research as Angela or Saul were for their tDAR projects.  For example, you might archive data, photos, maps, or reports gathered to support your Master’s thesis or dissertation research, even if these materials aren’t final or the results aren’t yet published.  Photos, maps, and field notes or reports may be ready to archive now — even before you’ve completed your analysis or interpretations.  If you plan to add to your data sets in the future you can upload a current copy to tDAR for safekeeping, and replace the file when you have new data.  If you haven’t yet published the information you can embargo the file in tDAR, which will prevent others from downloading it until a date specified in the future.

If you aren’t sure what to put into tDAR, or how to get started we encourage you to sign up for one of our online seminars through SAA’s Online Seminar Series.  Introduction to Archaeological Digital Data Management is offered on February 12th, 2015 from 12-2PM EST.  Introduction to Digital Repositories for Archaeological Materials: tDAR (the Digital Archaeological Record) is offered on September 28th from 2-3PM EST, and is free to SAA members.  Read more about and register for these and other online seminars offered by SAA here.

To take advantage of your SAA student member benefit please email membership@saa.org and request your tDAR voucher for 2014 before January 31st, 2015.  If you haven’t yet registered to become a tDAR member visit tDAR.org to sign up.  Then head over to tDAR’s pricing page (core.tdar.org/cart/add), enter your voucher number in the “Redeem Code” field, and click “Next: Review & Choose Payment Method.” Your credit will be added to your account and you can begin uploading files!

If readers are at the annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America in New Orleans now, they can visit the Center for Digital Antiquity table in the exhibition area.  Executive Director Frank McManamon will be there throughout today and Saturday morning.  Feel free to stop by for a quick consult on digital curation or to find out more about Digital Antiquity and tDAR.
On Saturday afternoon, Digital Antiquity’s Director of Technology, Adam Brin will participate in the workshop: “Projections for the  Future, Best Practices for the Preservation and Publication of Geospatial Data,” which will be held 1:45 to 4:45 in the Southdown Room of the AIA meeting hotel, the New Orleans Sheraton on Canal Street.

We look forward to seeing you at one of these events!

Digital Antiquity and ASU Libraries just submitted a project proposal to the The Knight Foundation Knight News Challenge, and we need your help to get our project funded.

The Challenge poses the question, “How might we leverage libraries as a platform to build more knowledgeable communities?” Our project, Digging Up Data – Teaching and Learning with Digital Repositories like the Digital Archaeological Record, is designed to help teachers and students learn to find and use the information stored online in digital repositories. Many digital repositories  provide free and open content to users who are searching for information on a topic, and  include everything from documents, to 3D printer files, to photographs, and audio and video collections.

The goal of Digging Up Data is to give teachers and students an incentive to use digital repositories and become familiar with the wealth of information they contain.  Libraries understand how to collect, archive and make digital information accessible – in digital repositories.  But, if you ask someone “where should I look for information on X” they will likely respond “read a book” or “search Google” but not “search in a digital repository.” The Digging Up Data team want to help teachers and students leverage digital repositories to find the “hidden” information, the new special collections, that libraries and domain repositories are now building and maintaining. Our project employs a contest format to incentivize teachers to design assignments that help students engage with and make use of the amazing digital materials in repositories such as tDAR.

To find out more about our project please check out our proposal at the Knight News Challege Website (direct link to tDAR’s entry here). Submissions are evaluated by a team of outside reviewers, but the projects are visible to the public who are able to show support (via “applause”) and provide feedback.  Any comments or suggestions for improvement would be very welcome in the comments section at the end of the proposal, as would your “applause”. Thanks!

tDAR’s Entry to the Knight News Challenge:


 Earlier this week NPR’s All Tech Considered explored the question, “How Long Do CDs Last?”  Since the 1990s an increasing amount of data began to be stored on CDs.  According to Michele Youket, a Library of Congress preservation specialist quoted in the story, there is considerable variation in manufacturing standards for CDs.  This means there aren’t standard tools for preservation that will work on all CDs. So, as these CDs age and decay, the data stored on them is at risk of being lost. 

 While individuals, libraries, and archaeological curation facilities around the country store CDs that contain archaeological information, many are not equipped to preserve them properly.  A better solution to continuing to store important archaeological data on CDs—where it might be lost—is to put them in a digital repository, such as tDAR. tDAR is a dynamic solution for archaeologists worried about losing important data and information.  Digital files archived in tDAR are stored and preserved with rich, discipline specific metadata.  The files are actively checked for corruption at the time of ingest and then on a regular schedule. Additionally, tDAR combats software obsolescence by maintaining files in current standards so that our users can download and use them long into the future.  This level of service and support is something you will not get from a CD. If you’re interested in learning more about ensuring the long term preservation of your digital archaeological information, contact us today.

There are lots of reasons to backup your data, including protection from loss, accidental damage, or device failure, or to simply have access to older versions in case of mistakes.  Good backup practices require maintaining multiple copies of the data, ideally in physically different locations.  If you’d like more information on backup procedures (or horror stories!), review the Guides to Good Practice

Importantly, storage media (CDs, Flash Drives, External Hard Drives, etc.) are great short-term backup solutions, but are not designed to protect your information in perpetuity.  Burned CDs have a lifespan of only a few years[1], and hard and flash drives have a limited number of write-cycles[2]

Are you looking for a more long-term solution? Celebrate World Backup Day by archiving your archaeological information in tDAR!  tDAR is so much more than simple file storage–the repository offers a full archival solution.  

Digital files in tDAR are 

  • protected from catastrophic loss; 
  • accessible from anywhere with an internet connection;
  • always available in up-to-date file formats so you can open and use your files today and long into the future;  
  • associated with rich, archaeologically specific metadata for easy search and discovery.

Don’t wait!  Upload your digital files today before it is too late!