Data preservation, reuse, and synthesis are important goals in contemporary archaeological research that have been addressed by the recent collaboration of the Eastern Archaic Faunal Working Group (EAFWG). We used the Digital Archaeological Record (tDAR) to preserve 60 significant legacy faunal databases from 23 Archaic period archaeological sites located in several contiguous subregions of the interior North American Eastern Woodlands. In order to resolve the problem of synthesizing non-standardized databases, we used the ontology and integration tools available in tDAR to explore comparability and combine datasets so that our research questions about aquatic resource use during the Archaic could be addressed at multiple scales. The challenges of making digital databases accessible for reuse, including the addition of metadata, and of linking disparate data in queryable datasets are significant but worth the effort. Our experience provides one example of how collaborative research may productively resolve problems in making legacy data accessible and usable for synthetic archaeological research.