Monthly Archives: April 2014

HERALD: a new beginning for OASIS

We all know that the historic environment sector has undergone a great degree of upheaval over the last few years as a result of the recession-busting
moves by both central and local government and, perhaps even more importantly,
the slump in building activity. At the same time colleagues in the sector are coming to rely more and more on technological solutions to help provide a high quality archaeological information to the public. It is therefore heartening to be able to announce an investment by English Heritage in OASIS to consider a project to redevelop the system to better meet the needs of the historic environment community it endeavours to serve.
Continue reading HERALD: a new beginning for OASIS

Buckets of Anglo-Saxon Data

With the release last year of two more Anglo-Saxon archives, ‘A Corpus of Early Anglo-Saxon Buckets’ and ‘Anglo-Saxon Grave Goods of the 6th and 7th Centuries AD: A Chronological Framework’, it seems like a good time to highlight this growing theme in our archives. We now hold a mass of Anglo-Saxon collections; six classification or typological collections; four site based archives; and three large area studies of Anglo-Saxon activity in Staffordshire and Kent. We also archive the ‘Novum Inventorium Sepulchrale – Kentish Anglo-Saxon graves and grave-goods’ in the Sonia Hawkes archive which is currently available online from Oxford University.

Buckle from the Anglo-Saxon Graves and Grave Goods Archive © English Heritage.

Continue reading Buckets of Anglo-Saxon Data

SENESCHAL Vocabularies: Implementation

With the SENESCHAL project finally wrapped up, we thought it would be good to do a final post on how we implemented the SENESCHAL vocabularies into our systems.  This follows on from my previous post, SENESCHAL Vocabularies: value to the ADS, which gives more background into the project in general. That post also lays out the original vision and a mock-up for the integration of the SENESCHAL vocabularies into our Collections Management System (CMS), which we can now safely say has been fully realised.

CMS

The CMS integration was the primary objective for the ADS within the SENESCHAL project, as it would have the biggest and most immediate impact.  We wanted a simple way to accurately align our archive metadata to the official vocabularies used within Britain.  This not only helps us manage our archives better, it also ensures our users can discover our archives in a more consistent and accurate manner.  Before the SENESCHAL project, our “alignment” with the Monuments Thesaurus was done via a free text field.  Even with the extreme fastidiousness of our digital archivists, errors had the potential to creep in.  Entering data this way also uncoupled the term from its related concepts and hierarchy when recorded within our CMS.  This could be recreated, but the onus was put on the user (us in most cases, but also the users of the archive) of the data to manually “realign” the term.

Continue reading SENESCHAL Vocabularies: Implementation