Digital Library

The Nautical Archaeology Digital Library

Archaeology is public or it is nothing. The main purpose of any archaeological project must be to share the knowledge acquired with both the domain experts and the general public.  Archaeologists destroy the sites they dig. Documenting and sharing are archaeologists’ main responsibilities.

This page started in 2006 as a digital library of artifacts gathered in the domain of Nautical Archaeology, supported by a NSF grant (IIS-0534314), with the specific goal of designing, implementing, and evaluating a framework to:

  1. efficiently catalog, store, and manage artifacts, and ship remains, along its associated data and information produced by an underwater archaeological excavation;
  2. integrate heterogeneous data sources from different media to facilitate research work and handle uncertainty in data and structure;
  3. incorporate historic sources to help in the study of current artifacts;
  4. develop visualization tools to help researchers manipulate, observe, study, and analyze artifacts and their relationships;
  5. develop algorithm and visualization based mechanisms for ship reconstruction, i.e., to determine where recovered pieces and fragments fit in a whole;
  6. develop visualization tools to share our scholarly work to a as wide as possible audience.

Today the Nautical Archaeology Digital Library mission is to be a space where archaeologists from around the world can share their experiences and exchange information with their colleagues, as well as with a wider public. The second objective of NADL is to increase the visibility of nautical archaeology and clarify its social importance.

This project is a collaborative effort of researchers in Texas A&M University’s Center for the Study of Digital Libraries (CSDL) and the J. Richard Steffy Ship Reconstruction Laboratory (ShipLAB). It draws its materials from the extensive collection of artifacts gathered from a shipwreck in Portugal, as well as the extensive archives collected at the ShipLAB during field studies over the past two decades

This project is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0534314 (2006-2009). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  • Center for the Study of Digital Libraries (CSDL)
  • J. Richard Steffy Ship Reconstruction Laboratory (ShipLAB)
  • Department of Visualization (VizLab)