MEMORANDUM

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Cooperation Statement between the Archaeology Data Service and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (now Historic Environment Scotland, HES)

Historic Environment Scotland views ADS as a partner in providing on-line digital access to the National Monuments Record of Scotland in the context of national policy for records and archives of sites and monuments. This includes networking to other data providers (including Sites and Monuments Records) in Scotland as part of NMRS lead role.

Historic Environment Scotland looks to ADS to:

  • provide a means of universal access to digital data.
  • promulgate Historic Environment Scotland national archive policy and its lead role with local SMRs as well as data standards.
  • provide research and development for archaeology in three main areas:
    • the provision of metadata, including the documentation of digital data sets to enable re-use.
    • the specification of digital media and optimum storage conditions for the long term preservation of digital data.
    • the exploration of funding mechanisms for deposit of and/or access to digital data and copyright issues.

Subject to the resources available on each side, Historic Environment Scotland and ADS have identified areas of co-operation to be:

  • the analysis of the demand for digital data e.g. by means of a user survey.
  • the specification of digital media and optimum storage conditions for the long-term preservation of digital data.
  • the development of costed models of digital archiving and data migration.
  • the specification of technical, organisational and resource requirements for bodies curating digital archives.
  • the identification of potential sources of funding and resources for long-term digital archiving initiatives.
  • the identification of metadata standards and mechanisms for the dissemination of digital archives and information about them.
  • the development of mechanisms of accessing live databases on-line as part of Accessing Scotland's Past project.
  • the analysis of copyright, charging and pricing issues.
  • the development of standard agreements for access to and use of digital data.
  • the identification of data standards and guides to good practice.
  • the exchange of communications about relevant international initiatives in which each organisation is involved.

ADS look to Historic Environment Scotland for:

  • the implementation of a national policy for records and archives of sites and monuments in Scotland which includes networking to other data providers.
  • the promulgation of data standards in Scotland.
  • the cataloguing and curation of paper and digital archives relating to Scottish archaeology.
  • making data available to the public along with expert advice to facilitate its use.
  • the development of web-based search mechanisms as part of the Accessing Scotland's Past pilot project.
  • liaison with government policy makers in Scotland.

These common aims are being most effectively pursued by several selected case studies and pilot studies, including ADS and Historic Environment Scotland as partners together with other archaeological organisations, such as ''Accessing Scotland's Past ''and by participation in ADS workshops, working groups and Advisory Committee.

  • Historic Environment Scotland and ADS will work together to avoid any overlap and duplication.
  • Historic Environment Scotland is committed to a national policy in Scotland for the permanent preservation of archives that are in digital form and that fall within the Collecting policy of the Historic Environment Scotland and for the development of the National Monuments Record of Scotland as a point of access to a distributed national network of archaeological information. Historic Environment Scotland will consult with ADS and other appropriate bodies to ensure compatibility of metadata and documentation standards to allow interoperability with ADS access mechanisms.