National Archaeological Database (NADB)


The National Archaeological Database (NADB) effort was initiated by the National Park Service Archaeological Assistance Division in the 1980s to improve nationwide access to information on archeological activities.

NADB has undergone many changes over time, today it consists of:

  • NADB-Reports
  • NADB-Maps
  • NADB-Permits

NADB-Reports and NADB-Maps were developed by CAST and are being hosted on the CAST website.


1. NADB-Reports

NADB-Reports is an expanded bibliographic inventory of over 350,000 reports on archaeological investigation and planning, mostly of limited circulation. This "gray literature" represents a large portion of the primary information available on archaeological sites in the U.S.

This internationally recognized resource is maintained through a cooperative agreement between the National Park Service (NPS) and the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) at the University of Arkansas.


Go to the NADB-R query form



In the 1980s, archaeological references were gathered and compiled in a national database. Copies of the database were then distributed to the various organizations involved in archaeological work. NPS also distributed PC-NADB, a software designed to assist users in getting access to the existing database records.

In 1992, CAST designed an on-line version of NADB-Reports. Users were then able to access information via telnet from a single database hosted at CAST. In 1995, NADB-R was moved to the web environment. Today, NADB-Reports records reside in an Oracle database.

The bibliographic information was last updated in August 2004.


This database benefits from the bibliographic records contributed by many partners, particularly State Historic Preservation Offices and federal agencies.

The Center For Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) hosts the NADB Online System under a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service. CAST is also responsible for its operation, data uploads, user support, and the addition of new features as funding permits.

The Archeology Program, NPS, coordinates the regular update of the information in NADB-Reports using a number of cooperators, primarily the State Historic Preservation Offices. It also develops and schedules the release of new modules in cooperation with CAST.


2. NADB-MAPS (Multiple Attribute Presentation System)

Analyzing and comparing data sets at a continental scale is something that was difficult to achieve before GIS software came about. In the 1990s, CAST became interested in looking at US-wide data sets, and began collecting continental wide archaeological,  historical, and environmental data.  The archaeological and historical maps are now available as part of the NADB-MAPS Library.

The NADB-MAPS Library includes the following maps:

  • State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) Archeological Site Counts
  • SHPO Archeological Site Densities
  • Fluted Point Densities
  • National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Property Densities
  • NRHP Archeological Site Densities
  • 2004 NADB-Reports Archeological Citation Counts
  • 1997 NADB-Reports Archeological Citation Counts
  • 1994 NADB-Reports Archeological Citation Counts
  • 2004 NADB-Reports Archeological Citation Densities
  • 1997 NADB-Reports Archeological Citation Densities
  • 1994 NADB-Reports Archeological Citation Densities
  • 2004 NADB-Reports Paleoindian Citation Densities
  • 1997 NADB-Reports Paleoindian Citation Densities
  • 1994 NADB-Reports Paleoindian Citation Densities