DANS launches Data Station Archaeology

24 June 2022

DANS has launched its Data Station Archaeology, the place where the Dutch archaeological research community can store, find, share and publish their data online. Biggest advantages: the large amount of easily searchable data, support for all Creative Commons licenses, the possibility of version control, working with living data and sharing with others.

Hella Hollander, manager Data Station Archaeology: “Archaeologists produce datasets of various kinds: tabular data, images, maps, reports, and so on. This creates different demands on the storage of this data. The Data Station is fully equipped for this. The organisational landscape of this community is also very diverse. For example, in addition to academic researchers, there are numerous commercial archaeological organisations that produce and use data in various ways. Something that is also facilitated by the new Data Station. The existing archaeological collection from EASY has been transferred to the new Data Station Archaeology.”

More possibilities

As the responsible party for the e-Depot for Dutch archaeology and as expertise centre and national repository for research data, DANS meets the special user requirements with the Data Station Archaeology. There are extensive possibilities to find and search datasets. In addition, data can be further edited after archiving – a new functionality. Saved datasets can be updated during research and changes are tracked with version control.

99% of archaeological datasets directly accessible

Hollander continues: “The open access trend in archaeology has really taken off. The large archaeological companies such as BAAC, RAAP and ADC were the first to opt for more open access rights; today open access  is common practice. The result is impressive: 99% of the archaeological datasets in this Data Station are now directly and publicly accessible. Stakeholders such as the Cultural Heritage Agency, archaeological depots, companies in commercial archaeology, universities and other enthusiasts are able to use data directly with guaranteed durability and reliability.”

Easier sharing, easier protection

Datasets will be available in a certified environment for the long term. Data can be offered under all Creative Commons licences. It is also possible to set an embargo of up to two years per file or to opt for Restricted Access. A counter shows the number of downloads of the files in a dataset.

Easier search

The functionality of collections in the new Data Station has been considerably expanded compared to the thematic pages that we know from EASY. There is a list of collections and a specification can be given when depositing the dataset. There are no less than five parts of the ABR+ thesaurus present in the Data Station Archaeology: Temporal, Subject, Artefact, Methods of Recovery and Report.

Hella Hollander: “It is not mandatory to fill it in, but it does offer an enormous enrichment of the metadata and search options. So, I hope that researchers will consistently fill in this data.” Collections can also be found through search queries and multiple filters. In addition to ‘normal’ searching, the Data Station offers ‘Advanced Search‘ on almost every field and can also be searched for file metadata. The data is indexed in full text as well. In this way, the findability of data is significantly improved.


The new Data Station Archaeology is designed for ease of use. Documents and images  for example, can be viewed directly. It is also possible to cite files within a dataset. Metadata is offered in a large number of formats and can be exported directly. Even logging in is easy: you can do that with your institutional account or create an account with your email. In addition, DANS offers unique personal user support: both Data Station Manager Hella Hollander and the Data Processing Team are ready to answer your questions about data processing. “I cordially invite everyone to put the Data Station into use and share the data with each other and experiences with us”

More information

View the archaeological collection online or contact Hella Hollander, Data Station Manager Archaeology, if you have any questions.

Hella Hollander is an archaeologist. She has been a specialist in the field of sustainable access and reuse of digital research data at DANS since 2010.

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Hella Hollander M.A.

Data Station Manager Archaeology