Trent Valley 2002: Trent Valley GeoArchaeology bibliographic database

Stuart Brookes, 2005

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Introduction

"Considerable archaeological, geomorphological and palaeoenvironmental work has been carried out in the Trent Valley. Apart from publications in local journals, most of this work is accessible only through 'grey' literature held in SMRs. The lack of a consolidated, easily accessible bibliography is an impediment to research in the Trent Valley. The need is for a reference database with keywords, that can be searched for particular types of information and to identify where full details can be obtained, that covers the whole Trent Valley and that can be readily accessed through the web at defined locations (such as Trent Valley GeoArchaeology's web site, ADS, SMRs)."
(Project Outline May 2002)

Understanding of the archaeology of the Trent Valley, which spans several counties and three regions (East Midlands, West Midlands, Yorks and Humberside) is at present fragmented; a situation which is exacerbated by the proliferation of 'grey' literature, deposited in SMR archives in the various Counties and Unitary Authorities. Although new sites are identified and excavated on an annual basis there currently exists no coherent listing of these works across the whole Trent Valley area. In the current situation it is clear that no single researcher has ever had more than piecemeal access to documentary sources, nor has a strategy existed to assess pragmatic issues of publication and levels of intervention made across the region as a whole. The building of discrete databases by County and Unitary authorities, or for specific research purposes (by period or geographical location) in a variety of formats has entailed much repetition and fragmentation of data. As a consequence it has not proved possible to compare these sets nor to interrogate the respective methodologies.

In response to the need for greater understanding of the archaeology of the Trent Valley, Trent Valley 2002 implemented the creation of a searchable reference database that brings together both published and 'grey' literature within a single data resource. By unifying bibliographic references of these diverse sources to the same classification criteria the Trent Valley GeoArchaeology Bibliography provides for enhanced access of information on the nature and extent of archaeological works. Funding for this project was granted by the Aggregates Sustainability Levy administered by English Heritage during the 2002/3 round and work was carried out on this component from June to December 2003 by the Department of Archaeology, The University of Nottingham.

This project was part of the Trent Valley GeoArchaeology 'Trent Valley 2002' project, funded by the Aggregrates Levy Sustainability Fund administered by English Heritage.