From: David Baker [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: 13 October 2003 17:21
P R O J E C T A N N O U N C E M E N T
AN ASSESSMENT OF THE RESOURCES NEEDED BY ENGLISH SMRs / UADs TO ACHIEVE THE 1ST STAGE HER BENCHMARK
1 Following the publication in 2002 of the report on Historic Environment Records: Benchmarks for Good Practice, a further exercise is proposed to quantify and cost the resources that would be required to ensure that all current Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs) and Urban Archaeological Databases (UADs) held by local authorities achieve the first stage of the Historic Environment Record performance measures. The intention is to ensure the availability of key information following the current DCMS consultation on the future development of HERs.
2 The Sites and Monuments Records Resources Assessment (SMRRA) has been commissioned by English Heritage on behalf of the Historic Environment Records Working Party which also includes the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Re:Source, and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO). It will be undertaken by David Baker (Historic Environment Conservation) and Dr Gill Chitty (Hawkshead Conservation Associates) assisted by Rachel Edwards (Arboretum Archaeological Consultancy). The Project Design will be posted on the ALGAO web-site, at www.algao.org.uk.
3 A representative sample (c 25%) of SMRs and UADs in England will be surveyed in order to quantify and cost the work necessary for each current Record to achieve the first stage HER benchmark in all four categories of achievement, namely:
· User Services and Access
· Information Coverage and Content
· Information Management
· Organisation Management.
Two final reports, one on SMRs and one on UADs, will help develop an implementation plan for the HER Benchmark Scheme which incorporates sound financial planning.
4 About 25 SMRs / UADs will be chosen to represent the complete range of types of information system so that results can be safely extrapolated to the whole population. Detailed guidance on the 1st stage HER benchmark requirements will be provided to participating authorities, covering the range and detail of the information to be available for individual personal interviews. After a pilot scheme during October / November involving up to six Records, the main interviews will take place in November and December.
5 SMRs and UADs are encouraged to participate. Volunteers for the main sample should contact David Baker as soon as possible at [log in to unmask] (01234 781179), from whom a copy of the Project Design is also obtainable.
Local Government Historic Environment Liaison
9 October 2003