The Nautical Archaeology Digital Library is a community of archaeologists committed to share data and cooperate. Archaeology is a discipline that aims at reconstructing our past and we believe that large and diverse teams can develop better and smarter narratives of the past.
Starting as an attempt to develop a set of informatic tools aiming at studying the history of shipbuilding, the NADL has since expanded to include the history of seafaring, maritime cultures, and maritime landscapes.
Some archaeologists claim that our reconstructions of the past can be used as mirrors that reflect our image against a different, long gone, background, which should help us understand ourselves better. Such is the value of archaeology.
One of the students of the philosopher Daniel Dennett wrote that as we cannot do much carpentry with bear hands, we cannot do much thinking with bear brains. The circulation of information, free from fears of plagiarism (all the texts posted in NADL are signed), free from political and ideological constraints, and free from the censorship of gate keeping power structures or the price barriers of the journal business, is paramount for the advancement of maritime archaeology. NADL texts are not peer reviewed in a strict sense, but we function as an editorial board with professionals from more than 40 countries, trying to make sure all information is accurate and shared in a clear context.