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Transforming Research On the Web with Electronic Legacies (TROWEL).SYS

Abstract

As conceived, the TROWEL project (Transforming Research On the Web with Electronic Legacies) is a plan for a pilot study to examine the issues involved in digitizing archaeological legacy data. Legacy data includes important research either conducted prior to the use of computers or for which, an electronic copy of the information no longer exists. As many fields of study are creating large electronic repositories on the internet, access to original data and collaborative efforts are increasing. The field of Anthropology is no exception and with such data sets, it will be possible to address large scale research questions.
This pilot study will develop a methodology to digitize 10 boxes of archaeological reports and their associated data. After design and set up, the bulk of the work will be distributed among various groups of volunteers. Initial volunteer groups include elementary, secondary, and university students, retirees, the general public, and interested local societies (historical and avocational). The goal of the project is to evaluate the feasibility of not only the specific methodology employed but also the volunteer incentives and participation. The pilot program will be used to draft recommendations based on the age, size, and content of legacy data. These recommendations will allow other institutions to estimate the time, cost, and labor necessary to digitize their legacy data holdings. Ultimately, the pilot project will provide a concrete example on which to build future efforts.

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