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AHDS Timeline 1995 - 2006

You can also read about the
first 10 years of the AHDS
(external link).

This page is no longer updated, it represents the status on 31st March 2008
About the Arts and Humanities Data Service

The AHDS collects, preserves and promotes electronic resources in the arts and humanities.

What is the AHDS? | How is it organised? | What does it offer?

AHDS Executive Offices
26 - 29 Drury Lane (3rd Floor)
King's College London
Tel: 020 7848 1988
Fax: 020 7848 1989
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  Email : email

Directions to the AHDS Executive

Contact details for the AHDS Centres can be found below

What is the AHDS?

The Arts and Humanities Data Service is a UK national service funded by the JISC and AHRC to collect, preserve and promote the electronic resources which result from research and teaching in the arts and humanities.

By preserving collections made in the arts and the humanities, the AHDS encourages research and educational use of its collections and makes information about them available through online catalogues.

The identification and promotion of shared standards is critical to the AHDS's work. Preserving and exchanging digital information relies upon their widespread adoption and so does a more integrated approach to resource discovery which may help our users to find the resources they require irrespective of where they are located or how they are stored.

The AHDS seeks the widest possible collaboration in identifying such standards and documents and promotes these in its Guides to Good Practice, and its Information Papers. Via a strong national training programme and a range of other user services, the AHDS also promotes awareness amongst a number of UK communities about the importance and value of electronic information and provides guidance in its effective creation and use.

Finally, the AHDS facilitates fruitful partnerships between those communities in order to enhance the production and preservation of high-quality digital resources, and to provide more uniform access to them.


How is the Arts and Humanities Data Service organised?

The AHDS was established as a geographically distributed service comprising a managing Executive and a number of AHDS Centres devoted to archaeology, history, literary, linguistic and other textual studies, the visual arts, and the performing arts. The Centres collect, preserve, catalogue, and distribute digital resources which are relevant to their subject areas, facilitate good practice in their creation and use, and offer some user services. They also contribute to the Service-wide initiatives documented here.

AHDS Executive26 - 29 Drury Lane (3rd Floor)
King's Collge London
London, WC2B 5RL
Tel: 020 7848 1988
Fax: 020 7848 1989
Email: info
AHDS ArchaeologyDept. of Archaeology, The King's Manor
University of York
York, YO1 7EP
Tel: 01904 433 954
Fax: 01904 433 939
Email: info
AHDS HistoryUK Data Archive
University of Essex
Colchester CO4 3SQ
Tel: 01206 872326
Fax: 01206 872003
Email: info
AHDS Literature,
Language and Linguistics
Oxford University Computing Services
13 Banbury Road
Tel: 01865 273 238
Fax: 01865 273 275
Email: info@
AHDS Performing ArtsHumanities Advanced Technology And Information Institute
University of Glasgow
Tel: 0141 330 3549
Email: info@
AHDS Visual ArtsSurrey Institute of Art & Design
University College, Falkner Road
Farnham, GU9 7DS
Tel: 01252 892723
Fax: 01252 892725
Email: info@

For queries relating to interdisciplinary work, other arts and humanities subject areas or general enquiries please contact the AHDS Executive

The Executive co-ordinates the work of the AHDS Centres, ensures the development of coherent collection, curatorial, and distribution policies, and takes responsibility for all Service-wide initiatives, reporting to a Management Board and a Joint Consultative Committee. Located on Drury Lane, in Central London at King's College London, the Executive benefits from the generous support of the Library, the Computing Service, and the School of Humanities, and from the presence at King's of the internationally recognised Centre for Computing in the Humanities, the AHRC-funded Methods Network and several major computer-based humanities research projects.


What services are provided by the Arts and Humanities Data Service?
  • A substantial collection of electronic texts, databases, images, and mixed media resources of relevance to arts and humanities disciplines.
  • Provides information about similar resources which are located and managed elsewhere.
Services to users:
  • Free or at-cost access to all services for the Higher and Further education communities and many resources are also made freely available nationwide.
  • Expert guidance on the creation and scholarly use of digital materials.
  • Professional cataloguing and documentation of digital resources.
  • Expert information on resource availability and usefulness.
Services to data creators and depositors:
  • Archival and distribution management services.
  • Cataloguing and documentation of digital resources to recognized standards.
  • Long-term preservation of resources.
  • Guaranteed usability across technological change.
  • Free promotion and publicity for education resources, using well-established and recognized channels and training techniques.
Services to Funding and Other Agencies:
  • Maximizing investment in resource creation
  • Continued accessibility for community-created resources
  • Expertise in the development and application of key standards
  • Provision of guidance in our areas of specialization in the publication series Managing Digital Collections and Guides to Good Practice
  • Research and consultancy


Contact the AHDS | What is the AHDS? | How is it organised? | What does it offer?