Sherds of pottery.
Pottery sherds from an archaeological excavation © Historic England, Alun Bull, DP168342
Pottery sherds from an archaeological excavation © Historic England, Alun Bull, DP168342

ADAPt: The Archaeological Digital Archiving Protocol Toolkit

ADAPt is a Historic England toolkit of templates, checklists, and pro-forma specifically designed to integrate archiving into the data creation process.

ADAPt should be seen as a guide through the processes of managing data from the development of a data management plan, through adopting conventions for file naming and folder structures, to the addition of metadata.

Through our work with ADAPt the importance of sharing proforma recording forms and recording manuals has become clear.  You can download the Archaeological Projects team recording manual below.

Since the Archaeological Projects team uses Intrasis to record all of its data the file containing the equivalent to proformas is best viewed and used in Intrasis. 


ADAPt policy

The adapt policy describes how it relates to the rest of the work we do.

ADAPt procedures 

Adapt procedures explain how data management fits with the rest of the project procedures.


Project management checklist

The Project management checklist is used to ensure that data management tasks are completed through the lifecycle of projects.

Data transfer agreement

The data transfer agreement is used when transferring data to an external organisation.

Data management plan

The data management plan is a document that will be updated throughout the project to record data management decisions impacts.


A flowline to determine how to evaluate whether a file should be archived and whether it is ready for deposition.

Data acceptance guidance

Guidance for accepting data from external providers.

File formats list

A list of file formats indicating whether they are acceptable archival formats but always confirm with the Archaeology Data Service.

File naming convention

The file naming convention ensures that the file name is comprehensible allowing the purpose of the file to be identifiable without having to open it. It can be printed out and used as a quick reference tool.

Suggested folder structure

A group of folders structured according to MORPHE project stages to allow files to be recorded in a consistent way for these types of projects. They can serve as a guide for other project types as well. You can download the templates from a zip file.

A cribsheet explains the folder structure for two types of projects. This can be printed out as a quick reference tool.

Image capture guidelines

Guidelines for image capture for a variety of different image capturing devices and recommendations of appropriate standards.

Deposition guidelines

Guidelines on how to prepare a report for deposition, this is critical if the variety data included in a report are to be available for re-use.

Creating PDFs for archiving

Guidance for creating a PDF/A-1a/b the preferred PDF format for archiving.

Databases and spreadsheets

Guidance for preparing database and spreadsheets for archiving.

Selection criteria for files.

Criteria for selecting and appraising files to determine whether they need to be retained for archiving or if they can be deleted.

Metadata for recording images

Generic metadata defining the most common fields used in recording images.