Regular updates to the tDAR software comprise an integral part of Digital Antiquity's commitment to digital archaeological data preservation. The Grid  release of tDAR (Winter 2012) includes the following primary components:


  • Registered users can download the first 1000 records of any search result into an excel spreadsheet.
  • Improved accuracy on searches performed with the google maps interface.

User Profiles:

  • Users can now edit/modify their profiles to add descriptions or update information.
  • Improvements to the map and the geocoding of the map data.

Document Support:

  • Users can now upload RTF documents along with PDF and Word Documents.
  • PDF documents now include a cover page with a complete citation.

Data Set Support:

  • Users are now able to preview datasets once they've been uploaded to tDAR.  This includes:
    • an interface to page through the dataset's contents.
    • the ability to view the archival metadata describing each column of the dataset.
    • improved validation and parsing support of the metadata describing each column.
  • Support for TAB separated files.

Library and Technology Related Features:

  • DOIs are now assigned for all tDAR resources with files attached.
  • tDAR is now an Open Archives (OAI-PMH) compliant provider. Basic metadata for tDAR records can now be downloaded via the OpenArchives protocol (OAI-PMH).
  • A published Schema for tDAR records is now available at
  • Support for per-instance themes.
  • Support for LDAP Authentication and Authorization.
  • Tools for Authority Management.

Regular updates to the tDAR software comprise an integral part of Digital Antiquity’s commitment to digital archaeological data preservation. The Fluvial release of tDAR (Fall 2011) includes the following primary components:


  • A new way to organize and display resources. Collections can be stacked or nested to allow you to organize resources. You can add a name, description, and sort-order to your collections.
  • Share, collections also simplify the way that you can share resources with other users. It enables you to assign a user or set of users permissions and then assign a set of users to that collection. This should simplify managing rights for resources.
Data Integration:
  • Data integration UI has been entirely reworked to simplify the process.
  • Results are now summarized to allow you to more easily assess whether the results are correct
New Creator pages:
  • tDAR now display a “creator” page for people and lists all of your resources organized by resource type, by title.
Batch Upload:
  • updated template with improved labels, examples, and help text in excel comments
  • improved error messages
  • improved map and graph
User Dashboard:
  • reworked to provide faster access to all of your resources, improved graphs
  • access to collections
Record display & editing:
  • improved, more concise record display
  • image display works better with multiple images
  • translated datasets now displaying
  • added print stylesheet to make printing cleaner
  • Date Created now a required field for records
Search Results:
  • results display enhanced with additional limits on the right, you can now limit by file access information (whether the item is shared or marked as confidential
  • improved sorting options
  • search relevancy has been significantly improved for people, places, and title matching
Datasets, Coding Sheets, & Ontologies:
  • updated category variables
Regular updates to the tDAR software comprise an integral part of Digital Antiquity’s commitment to digital archaeological data preservation. The Eolian release of tDAR (late Spring/early Summer 2011) includes new resource types and powerful tools, significant improvements to file upload and management, and a focus on increasing usability. The update includes the following primary components:
  • Sensory Data resource type (new)
  • New API to add and update records in tDAR
  • Batch Upload Tool (new)
  • Better management of confidential resources
  • File replacement (new)
  • Improved page loading performance
  • Improved dataset and ontology replacement
  • Autocomplete expanded to all keyword fields
  • Improved validation and help text
  • Faceted search results page
  • Improved ontology display

Digital Antiquity maintains its commitment to digital archaeological data preservation in part through continuous attention to the tDAR software. The Debitage release of tDAR (Spring 2011) focuses on advanced search and browsing capabilities, as well as significant changes to storage infrastructure. The update includes the following primary components:

  • The finalized version of the Transatlantic Archaeological Gateway to enable searching of Projects across ADS (UK) and tDAR content
  • A completely redesigned infrastructure for processing and storing datasets including improved support for MS Access databases
  • Significantly improved advanced search tools
  • RSS/ATOM feeds for tDAR search results
  • An improved uploading interface
  • Numerous bug fixes

Digital Antiquity continuously works to update tDAR software as a part of its mission to improve digital data preservation and storage. The Cadaster Release, from Winter 2010-2011, focused primarily on supporting the ingest of National Archaeological Database (NADB) metadata as well as enhancement of existing user workflows. Increasing usability is a crucial method to improving the overall efficiency of data entry and management. Key changes to the software include:

  • Previously, the relationship between a record and the project it was filed into required the record to automatically copy all of the data from the project to each record in that project.  With this release, this action is now both explicit, and optional, allowing selective “inheritance” section-by-section within a tDAR record.  Added support for institutional authorship in addition to the existing personal authorship
  • Added the ability to record notes and identifiers (such as contract number) to the schema and data entry forms
  • Redesigned the search results display to allow for easier review of records and to enable sorting
  • Enabled tDAR to make better use of geospatial data specified by the user including automatic assignment of geographic keywords based on the site coordinates specified
  • Developed tools and infrastructure to bulk import XML records into tDAR
  • Added visualization tool for ontologies
  • Introduced display of thumbnails for PDFs and images stored within tDAR
  • Enabled easy replacement of Datasets, Ontologies, and Coding Sheets within tDAR without forcing the user to entirely remap data records
  • Enhanced keyword searching to index and search general terms as well as specific ones, i.e., “Paleo-Indian” would be indexed in addition to the terms “Clovis” or “Folsom”.
  • Support for synonyms and Display Labels in tDAR ontologies
  • Significant performance enhancements throughout the system using NADB metadata records to test
  • Support for the TAG (Transatlantic Archaeological Gateway), a SOAP-based interface used by the UK Archaeological Data Service (ADS) released in Beta form

Digital Antiquity is continually committed to improving digital archaeological data preservation. The Balk release of tDAR (Fall 2010) was focused on file storage and management.  It was designed primarily around the need to store and manage images within the tDAR repository. Improvements and additions to the software include:

  • Migrated the internal filestore to a PairTree model (based on the CDL spec).  This model allows for a clear organization of the tDAR file-store and grouping of related materials.
  • Enabled versioning of files within tDAR
  • Migrated deleted records from actual deletion to a “flag” to allow for preservation of files and metadata for deleted items; also enabled the ability to save records in draft form before publishing.
  • Enabled a generic file processing workflow that supports handling of archival, working, and temporary files
  • Used above infrastructure to develop support for processing images within tDAR
  • Enabled searching within the contents of PDFs
  • Added support for processing files on a separate server, if needed
  • Redesigned the user’s main page within tDAR to list recent actions
  • Enhanced searching to support multi-lingual terms
  • Redesigned the main tDAR page to show a map of records, as well as a graph of records by type
  • Redesigned the data-integration process to simplify common user workflows
  • Performed a review of the support of embargoed and confidential data, added additional enhancements including the automatic obfuscation of site coordinates that may be too specific
  • Implemented additional auto-complete services throughout the integration process to improve performance and simplify data entry.

Digital Antiquity continually works to improve preservation and management of digital archaeological data. This commitment was instantiated in the first tDAR software release during the Summer of 2010. This initial release, Azimuth, was focused primarily on infrastructure and  data entry issues. Major accomplishments included:

  • Setting up a predictable development and test environment.
  • Developing a Digital Antiquity and tDAR website
  • Unifying the look and feel of the tDAR application and the tDAR website
  • Reviewing the data dictionary for tDAR and simplifying the model
  • Enhancing the data entry screens to optimize a user’s productivity
  • Enabling public access to tDAR metadata without requiring a user to login
  • Consistently displaying all metadata for records to users including metadata inherited from parent projects
  • Adding context-sensitive help to the data entry screens
  • Adding auto-entry (auto-complete) for Authors, Editors, and other personal relationships within tDAR
  • Enhancing general performance
  • Developed auto-suggestion model for mapping ontologies to values within tDAR