Arachne is the central Object database of the German Archaeological Institute (DAI) and the Archaeological Institute of the University of Cologne, administrated by Reinhard Foertsch.
Arachne is intended to provide archaeologists and Classicists with a free internet research tool for quickly searching hundreds of thousands of records on objects and their attributes. This combines an ongoing process of digitizing traditional documentation (stored on media which are both threatened by decay and largely unexplored) with the production of new digital object and graphic data. Wherever possible, Arachne follows a paradigm of highly structurized object-metadata which is mapped onto the CIDOC-CRM, to address machine-readable metadata strategies of the Semantic Web. This »structured world« of Arachne requires high efforts in time and money and therefore is only possible for privileged areas of data. While on the ever-increasing range of new, digital born data in reality only a small effort-per-object ratio can be applied. It therefore requires a “low-threshold” processing structure which is located in the »unstructured world« of Arachne. All digital (graphic and textual) information is secure on a Tivoli Storage System (featuring long-term multiple redundancy) and distributed online through the Storage Area Network in Cologne via AFS.