Anthropology, Department of


Date of this Version



Heitman, Carrie C., Worthy N. Martin, and Stephen Plog. 2017. “Innovation through Large-scale Integration of Legacy Records: Assessing the ‘Value Added’ in Cultural Heritage Resources.” ACM Journal on Computing and Cultural Heritage 10(3), Article 17 (July 2017).


© 2017 ACM


Using the Chaco Research Archive (CRA) as a case study, in this article, we discuss the spectrum of intellectual decisions: conceptualization, design, and development, required to make legacy records (accumulated over many years through numerous archaeological expeditions) publicly accessible. Intellectual and operational choices permeated the design and implementation of the digital architecture to provide internet access to the vast information structures inherent in legacy records for the cultural heritage of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. We explore how an expansive but focused repository can enable opportunities for research and foster communities of co-creation. We also use the CRA as a case study to outline some of the pitfalls of conventional academic metrics for scholarly impact and provide some alternative means to assess the value of digital heritage resources.