NSW Archaeology Online Project

The New South Wales Archaeology OnLine Project, co-directed by Dr Sarah Colley (formerly University of Sydney) and Dr Martin Gibbs (University of Sydney), is an initiative of the Archaeology of Sydney Research Group in partnership with University of Sydney Library who have international level expertise in sustainable digital archiving. Stages 1 and 2 (2009-13) of the project were sponsored by two Community Strategic Products and Services Program Grants from the Department of Planning (NSW) and the New South Wales Heritage Council.

Archaeology conducted under the NSW Heritage Act since 1977 in various commercial, government agency, academic and research contexts, has produced a vast record of archaeological, historical, oral historical and other heritage information. Much of this is in unpublished reports, theses and other documents, often only produced in limited quantities and never released publicly. In addition there are significant collections of incomplete or fragmentary archaeological site documentation, personal notes, photographs and reference material. There is currently no central digital repository where archaeologists can lodge these records.

NSW Archaeology OnLine is a secure long-term digital archive of content relating to NSW archaeology, especially projects conducted under the NSW Heritage Act (1977). It is structured for online use by the public, other researchers and archaeologists, and contains materials not otherwise held in public archives. It is fully compatible with existing archives and designed to link to them in future.

NSW Archaeology OnLine, Stages 1 and 2, focused on identifying and obtaining copies of key reports predominantly from the pre-1995 (and largely pre-electronic production) era, ensuring the conservation of these early and significant pieces of research. Approximately 1200 grey literature reports were scanned and made publically accessible through the University of Sydney Library at NSW Archaeology Online: Grey Literature Archive. Stage 2 has also involved scanning Judy Birmingham and Ian Jack’s slide and photographic collections which make up the NSW Archaeology Online: Image Archive, which is now linked to the Federated Archaeological Information Management Systems project system.

Further Information
More information about the NSW Archaeology Online project, is available on the NSW AOL website and the significance of the project is discussed in: Gibbs, M. and S. Colley 2012. Digital preservation, online access and historical archaeology ‘grey-literature’ from New South Wales, Australia. Australian Archaeology 75:95-103.