Historic Environment Research Archives, Links and Data (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. It is therefore even more heartening to be able to announce an investment in OASIS to redevelop the system to better meet the needs of the historic environment community it endeavours to serve.

We understand that there are elements of the OASIS system which are very twentieth century; this is not a total surprise as the original project was initiated in 1998! A very useful survey and subsequent report by Pye Tait Consulting undertaken in 2011-12 highlighted a number of issues, some very pertinent, some issues of misconception about the function and form of the system as it is now. What we hope to do now is take the results of the Pye Tait survey and build on that to identify what we need to do to bring the form and system behind it up to date in technological terms but also make it fit for a range of different purposes.

To ‘herald’ the start of the project in January 2014 we have redesigned the OASIS website, designed a new logo, and introduced a blog to keep you all up to date with what is going on with the project; our first step will be to ask you what you want, how the form and system could be changed to better serve your needs, help you report or record events, or deliver grey literature. So watch this space!

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