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User Guidelines

These guidelines provide instructions on how to use the main functions of AHAD, which is powered by the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR). In some cases, the instructions link directly to the tDAR’s User Documentation pages.

About AHAD

AHAD is a digital repository for storing documents, datasets, images and sensory data relevant to Australian Historical Archaeology. It is powered the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) software which was developed by Digital Antiquity to  store resources for all kinds of archaeological data from the United States and across the world. The developers of AHAD (VeRSI and La Trobe eResearch) partnered with the development team from Digital Antiquity to customise some of tDAR’s features and vocabularies for use in AHAD.

All data uploaded to AHAD is stored on La Trobe University servers and maintained by the Library ICT staff. Updates to tDAR are not automatically updated to AHAD. Errors may still be reported to tDAR using their bug tracking site.

Getting Started

You need to be registered to upload resources and download some content.

A basic introduction to tDAR’s resource structure is here: Getting Familiar with tDAR.

Planning your contributions

For the best guide on planning your deposition to AHAD (including supported file types), see the tDAR support pages and video tutorials:

  1. Planning Your Data Contribution
  2. Organizing Your Data
  3. Video Tutorials


1. Locate and click on the Register link on the homepage, below the login button (or click here: New Account).

2. Complete the Registration Form by entering your name, email address, and other information. NOTE: Your email address will become your username within tDAR.

3. Once you’re entered in all of your information, click the Submit button.

4. Select an option from the New menu to start contributing to AHAD.

Login to AHAD

You can login to AHAD with the login form on the homepage. You can also login from any page within AHAD by clicking on the “Login” button on the toolbar at the top of your browser screen.

Enter your email address and password and click Login.

You will be taken to your Dashboard which has a summary of all your entries and items you’ve recently updated. You can return to this page at any time by clicking on ‘Your Resources’ on the main toolbar.

Forgotten Passwords

If you’ve forgotten your password, go to the homepage or to the login page. Click on the “Reset Password” link.

Enter your email address (which is your account username) and click ‘Send’. An email entitled ‘Reset your password’ will be sent to this address with a link to reset the password.  Follow the link and enter the new password (twice, to confirm it is correct), then slick ‘Send’.

If you no longer have access to the email address you used to register, contact

Your Profile

You can edit information about yourself entered at the time of registering with AHAD, including your Institution and biography. To access your profile select ‘Update your Profile’ from the ‘Help’ menu or click the link at the bottom on your Dashboard.

Note: you cannot change your email address because it is also your username to your account. If you need to change, contact

Access Rights

The creator of an AHAD Resource has primary control over its management and may choose to keep some records private and confidential. If required, the creator of a Resource can give limited access to other AHAD users to edit metadata for a Project or Document, or to view and comment on a draft Resource or record before publishing it. In another cases, you may be required to keep a Resource out of the public domain (by marking it ‘Confidential’ at the time of upload) but can allow particular users to view or download the document by prior arrangement.

There are two kinds of Access rights: Viewing and Editing rights. A user with Viewing rights can see the metadata related to a Draft Resource, and download datasets and documents marked confidential. A user with Editing rights, can alter and add new metadata to a Draft or Active Resource, and replace or change files.

Access rights can be allocated at the Resource or Collection level. Allocate Access to a Collection carefully and check allocations regularly. A user given Access rights to a View a Collection can view any confidential Resource or draft record in the Collection. A user given Access rights to Edit a Collection can edit any draft or active Resource or metadata record in the Collection, and add new Resources to the Collection.

A user must be registered before they can be allocated Access rights.

You can see who has Access to your records, and records you have access to, under the section ‘Access Permissions for the This Resource’ at the bottom of the Resource page. This information is not visible to other Users.

See also: Access Rights in tDAR and Restricting Access to Files.


When you first login, you will be taken to your Dashboard which has a summary of all your entries and items you’ve recently updated. Click on the segments of the pie charts to see a list of the relevant resources.

You can search for your own records with the ‘Browse Resources’ feature. Enter a word, phrase or partial text in the Title box and filter for an individual Project or Collection, or Resource type or status.

Tip: there is no ‘search’ button and hitting enter will refresh the whole page.

Deleted resources will appear in this list, and this is the only way you can search Draft resources you have created.

At the bottom of the Dashboard is information about your account and a link to your Profile.

You can return to your Dashboard at any time by clicking on ‘Your Resources’ on the main toolbar.

Creating and Editing Resources

For the best guide on Creating and Editing Resources in AHAD, see the tDAR support pages.

Copyright Attributions

You must enter the name of the Primary Copyright Holder for all Documents, Datasets, Images and Sensory Data uploaded to AHAD. A Copyright Holder maybe a Person or an Institution. For published works, the Copyright Holder is probably the author of the work. For unpublished works, for example, consultant reports, the Copyright Holder maybe the site owner or manager or the consultant.

If you do not know the name of the Copyright Holder, you probably don’t have authority to upload the Resource. You should identify the Copyright Holder and seek their permission before uploading the resource.

License Agreements

Select a Creative Commons license to govern the use of your Resource using the radio buttons. An explanation of each license appears at the bottom of the box.

For more information on creative commons licenses, click here.

Export to RDA

Metadata created for all Document and Image records created in AHAD are automatically exchanged with Research Data Australia. The Resources themselves are not deposited, only the description and link back to the Resource on AHAD.

Records are only exchanged when their status is made Active, however, the names of people and institutions are automatically transferred, regardless of whether the Resource is Draft or Active.

Security and Access

For the best guide on Redacting Confidential data or embargoing Resources, see the tDAR support pages on: Security and Access.

Note that some aspects of the metadata record are more than attributes of the record. For example, when you enter a Person or Institution, their name is saved in a separate table within AHAD. These metadata are exchanged with RDA (see above), regardless of whether the Resource is Draft or Active.

Tip: if you are going to mark Resources as Confidential and are happy for other Users to contact you, it is recommended (but not required) that you make your email address public.

Comparing Datasets

For the best guide on comparing datasets in AHAD, see the tDAR support pages on Data Integration

Downloading resources

You must be logged in to download Resources. If a Resource is marked Confidential or Embargoed, you will have to contact the depositor and ask their permission to access the file.

See also

  1. Cultural and Ethnic Groupings
  2. Investigation Types
  3. Material
  4. Site Types 



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