Revealing the past since 1770: Cambridge Journals celebrates completion of oldest digital journal archive
Cambridge University Press and the Society of Antiquaries of London (SAL) are delighted to announce the completion of the online archives of Archaeologia, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of London and The Antiquaries Journal . Collectively they comprise the journal archives of SAL and span 242 years, encompassing key research in the study of material culture and antiquity. The publication history of Archaeologia dates back from 1770 and represents the oldest journal archive hosted on Cambridge Journals Online.
As part of the on-going project to digitise the back content of all Cambridge journals the SAL Journals were subject to scanning and extensive checking by a dedicated archive team to ensure all pages met the high standard required. The Archaeologia archive alone contains 46,500 pages across 222 volumes, and each of these pages required detailed checking. The age of the articles themselves presented problems and necessitated a careful hand during the scanning process as well as a careful eye to decipher the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century letter-forms. In addition key metadata and references within each article needed to be coded in XML (and then to HTML) to ensure they could be easily discoverable and accessible.
Christopher Catling of the Society of Antiquaries of London remarked that the online archive represents a rich quarry full of material that shows how our knowledge of the past has been built up over the last 300 years. “These papers reflect the insatiable curiosity of Fellows from the eighteenth century to the internet age; they embrace every aspect of the material past, from prehistoric flint tools to the dating of England’s magnificent Gothic cathedrals, with some perennial themes, such as Stonehenge, Hadrian’s Wall, and the Bayeux Tapestry that have been studied over and again and yet continue to yield important new information.”