MOLA photographer, Andy Chopping, uses multi-directional light to accentuate the markings on the tablets (c) NextShoot.jpg

MOLA to contribute research to new open-access digital database piloted by The British Library

MOLA team

We are excited to announce that we will be among the first Independent Research Organisations (IROs) to contribute research to a new collaborative, open-access digital database being piloted by The British Library, joining a select group of cultural institutions including The British Museum, Tate, National Museums Scotland and the British Library itself.

The database aims to increase the impact of cultural institutions' research by compiling it in one place, making it more visible and ensuring that it is easy for researchers to navigate.

Sophie Jackson, Director of Research and Engagement at MOLA, said:

Our archaeological experts generate new and important knowledge on a daily basis and having a shared repository presents an exciting opportunity to make this research content available for others to explore.’

The database will be built by open access publisher Ubiquity Press using a rapidly developing type of software called Samvera Hyku, and will be maintained long-term by a digital preservation service. 

Our initial contribution will include the results of our study of over 400 Roman wooden writing tablets recovered during excavations at Bloomberg’s new European Headquarters in London. This was the largest, earliest and most significant group of tablets ever studied from Roman Britain, with research revealing the earliest written reference to London, and earliest dated document from Britain.

It is hoped that the project will lead to the development of even more workflows and technologies to be shared by members of the IRO Consortium in the future.

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