The DART project is a collaboration between the University of Washington (UW) and research institutions in Thailand to provide online access to qualitative and quantitative social science research data on Thailand. Goals of the DART project are to: 1) develop best practices for digital archiving of multiple-format social science research materials and data, including rights and cultural property management; 2) develop a metadata schema and system design which allow for inter-operability of data for different uses; 3) surveying, aggregating, normalizing and cataloging data for inclusion a central registry at the UW.
To this date, DART consists primarily of collections of ethnographic and anthropological materials collected by academics and researchers in Thailand in the 1960s through 1970s. Current DART collections are held in the following repositories: University of Washington Special Collections, Seattle, USA; and the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, Bangkok, Thailand.
The project has started in 2006 by digitizing and indexing the archives of the Tribal Museum of Chiang Mai, where a huge number of documents, photographs and newspaper articles had been collected by the researchers of the former Tribal Research Institute between 1960 and 1990.
The recovery of Thailand’s ethnic and cultural heritage is the main goal of this project. The digital archive has become an essential tool for research and teaching as they include resources for education, research and for visual anthropology. They also include resources useful to local communities and NGOs.