Significant milestones in the history of the DAACS project to date include:
The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery launched complete artifact, context, spatial, image, and map data from five excavated sites of domestic slavery from The Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson. These sites from the Hermitage Field Quarter, along with Mansion Backyard sites slated for launch in December 2013, represent the most comprehensive excavations of 19th-century sites of slavery in the American South. They also represent the first sites in DAACS from the Upper South. Data from these sites are now freely available through DAACS. Funding for this project was provided by The National Endowment for the Humanities and was conducted in collaboration with The Ladies Hermitage Association, the museum that curates these collections.
The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery launched a redesigned website. A major feature of the DAACS website re-launch is a set of new image-laden object galleries highlighting artifacts, documents, and maps from important archaeological sites. The galleries were built in collaboration with archaeologists at Mount Vernon who recently cataloged over 100,000 artifacts and field records, including 150,000 faunal remains (animal bones), from Mount Vernon’s South Grove Midden site into the digital archive. Those data are now available through DAACS. read more here.
The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery was awarded a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the DAACS Research Consortium. The DAACS Research Consortium (DRC) is an innovative, collaborative project that will allow faculty, students and scholars from leading graduate programs and museums to contribute data from archaeological collections to Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery through the development of a web accessible application. The Mellon grant will fund development of new software infrastructure, using open-source tools, in a partnership with the University of Virginia’s Institute of Advanced Technology in the Humanities and Convoy, Inc., a Charlottesville-based design firm. The software will allow DRC partners to use an ordinary web browser to enter data from their excavations into the DAACS database, to discover meaningful patterns, and to compare patterns across geographically scattered archaeological sites.
Six new Chesapeake sites, all located along Mulberry Row at Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s Plantation, are launched: Building C (the Joiner’s Shop); Building D/j (the Smith/Nailer’s Shop); Building i (the Carpenter’s Shop); Building m (the Smokehouse/Dairy); Mulberry Row Structure 4; Building n (the wash house), the 1809 Stone House and Mulberry Row Structure 2. The complete analysis of these sites was funded by an NEH HCRR grant awarded in 2008 to Monticello’s Department of Archaeology.
The South Carolina Institute for Anthropology and Archaeology and The Digital Archaeological Archive of Comparative Slavery were awarded a Save America’s Treasures Grant. The grant will fund a the stabilization and re-analysis of a collection of artifacts excavated at Yaughan and Curriboo plantations in Berkeley County, SC in 1979. The Yaughan and Curriboo collections were the basis for some of the earliest studies of the lifeways of enslaved communities in the Southeast. These sites will launch on the DAACS website in late 2013.
Two new Chesapeake sites are launched: NAVAIR, a quarter site in Maryland, and the Pope site, located in Southampton County, Virginia. NAVAIR, a small quarter site, is the only remaining component of the Mattpany Plantation. The Pope Site consists of at least four domestic structures, one most likely housed the Ridley Family while the other three likely housed enslaved laborers.
Artifact, context, and spatial data from the St. Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative research are launched on the DAACS website. This work was funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Joint Information Systems Committee.
Artifact, context, and spatial data from Building i, Building c and the West Kitchen Yard, located on Mulberry Row at Monticello, are launched on the DAACS website.
The Stewart-Watkins site goes live on the DAACS website. This site was home to two skilled white laborers who worked for Thomas Jefferson between 1800 and 1810. This is the first domestic site that is not a slave quarter to be made available through the archive.
DAACS assumes the lead on a National Endowment for the Humanities Collections and Reference Resources grant (PW-50172-08) originally awarded to The Hermitage. The project, Beyond the Mansion: Digitizing 30 years of Archaeological Research on Slavery at The Hermitage, will make artifact, context, image, and spatial data available from 7 excavated 19th-century slave dwelling sites at The Hermitage.
Middleburg Plantation (South Carolina) goes live on the DAACS website. Artifact, context, and spatial data, as well as images and site maps, are available for viewing and downloading. This site contains nearly 100,000 artifacts.
DAACS, The University of Southampton (UK), and the International Slavery Museum (UK) conduct shovel-test-pit survey on five slave village sites, four on Nevis and one on St. Kitts.
The Reed Foundation awards The DAACS Caribbean Initiative a grant fully-fund seven paid interns from The University of West Indies, Mona to work with the St. Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative conducting fieldwork on Nevis in May and June 2008.
The Joint Information Systems Committee and the National Endowment for the Humanities awards DAACS, The University of Southampton (UK), and the International Slavery Museum (UK) a Transatlantic Digital Collaboration Grant for The St. Kitts-Nevis Digital Archaeology Initiative.
The Reed Foundation awards The DAACS Caribbean Initiative a grant to support the enrollment of 4 undergraduate students from the University of West Indies, Mona in DAACS-The University of Virginia’s Archaeology Field School at Stewart Castle, located outside of Falmouth Jamaica. It also provides funds for 4 advanced undergraduates to attend as paid interns.
DAACS launches data from four sites at Montpelier Plantation and two sites from Seville Plantation, both large-scale 18th-century sugar estates in Jamaica. These are the first Caribbean sites to be offered through the Archive.
DAACS launches data from two quarter sites in Maryland, Chapline Place and Ashcomb’s Quarter. These are the first Maryland sites to be offered through the Archive.
The DAACS lab moves to Kingston Jamaica where analysts work with collections housed at the Jamaica National Heritage Trust and The University of the West Indies, Mona.
DAACS receives a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the expansion of the DAACS project into the Carolinas and the Caribbean
DAACS debuts on the web at http://www.daacs.org.
Development of DAACS website, including SQL query functionality, in collaboration with Category 4, Inc. and the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia.
JUNE 2001 – OCTOBER 2003
Data analysis and entry for the following sites: building r, s, t, o and l at Monticello, ST116 at Stratford Plantation, House for Families at Mount Vernon, and the Palace Lands Quarter and Richneck Quarter Sites, both near Williamsburg, Virginia.
The National Endowment for the Humanities awards DAACS a $500,000 Challenge Grant for the endowment of the Archive.
DAACS database application is stable. Data entry begins.
Two Archaeological Analysts, responsible for analysis of artifacts and context records, and data entry, are hired.
OCTOBER 2000 – JUNE 2001
The archive’s data structures are revised, based on continuing consultation with Steering Committee members. Development begins on the DAACS database application, which instantiates those protocols. The DAACS database application consists of a MS-SQL server back end, with an Access front end, with VBA customization to expedite data entry.
Steering Committee Workshop is held at Monticello. This two-day conference focuses on historical and archaeological goals for DAACS and how they might be achieved. Drafts of the archive’s protocols and data structures are presented and critiqued.
Galle and Fraser Neiman begin sustained work identifying analytical needs, developing classification and measurement protocols, and the logical structure of the database, in collaboration with archaeological colleagues from around the Chesapeake who comprise the DAACS Steering Committee.
Jillian Galle is appointed DAACS Project Manager.
Monticello’s Archaeology Department receives a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to fund the DAACS project for an initial 4 years.