The DAACS Research Consortium (2013 to present)
The DAACS Research Consortium (DRC) is a novel kind of collaboration among scholars based in scattered academic and research institutions, built on the foundation offered by the Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery. The DRC is designed to advance DAACS’ two primary goals: to foster inter-site, comparative archeological research that will advance our historical understanding of the slavery-based societies that evolved in the Atlantic World during the early-modern era; and to serve as a useful model for the use of the web to encourage new kinds of scholarly collaboration and data sharing among archaeologists working in a single culture-historical context. This project received major funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Scholarly Communications, and is sustained by a NEH-seeded endowment and the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
The DRC responds to inquiries from university and museum-based scholars and graduate students interested in adopting DAACS software for their own archaeological research. Adoption here means not just downloading data from the DAACS website to compare with data generated independently by researchers using their own spreadsheet or database applications. Rather it means being able to enter their own data into the DAACS database application and to take advantage of the analytical and collaborative opportunities that ensue. DAACS’s partners in the DRC include faculty and their students at six leading graduate programs focusing on the archaeological study of early-modern Atlantic slave societies. The consortium also includes scholars from four research institutions that hold major archaeological collections from those societies.
In collaboration with technology partners at The University of Virginia’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities and Convoy, DAACS developed a first-of-its-kind web-based database application, using open-source software tools (primarily Ruby-on-Rails and PostgreSQL), to allow our geographically dispersed collaborators to digitize, analyze, and share their archaeological data with one another and with the wider archaeological community via the DAACS website. Read more about the DAACS Research Consortium here.