Dear Diana

I couldn't agree more.


On 28 Jun 02, at 11:11, Diana Murray wrote:

> We have been watching the debate on the accessibility of information in SMRs with some interest and I am sorry that we were not able to take part in the debate at Warwick. However, if it is appropriate we would be pleased to host a meeting of the SMRforum subscribers  (England, Wales and
Scotland) in Edinburgh to discuss the pros and cons of making data available over the Internet.
> There has been a lot said about the NMRS in this discussion list, but I do not want to use this forum to debate the merits or otherwise of the comments, nor to correct errors.
>  I do, however want to make the point that information, gathered at public expense over the years by RCAHMS and by OS, has been made freely available to all SMRs in Scotland and forms the basis of many SMRs.  We continue to supply information  regularly.  Some SMRs send information regularly
and freely to the NMRS to be included in the database.  As is well-known, CANMORE is now also being made freely available worldwide, with c.150,000 visits in 2001-2 .
> Until the Thatcher era, when data, like everything else, became a commodity, information was much more freely exchanged.  Society is now, once more, demanding that information, from whatever source, should be more freely available, accessible, and interoperable.  The dissemination of
information should, in our view, be  part of an information network rather than be seen as competitive activity. There have been national strategies and visions, which, for many reasons have failed to deliver, but a number of new ideas are already appearing.
> I sincerely hope that all of those of us that are collecting primary field data and collating and cataloguing other record sources can work together to make information as widely available as possible.
> Diana
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Victoria Bryant
Information and Records Officer
Worcestershire Archaeological Service
Woodbury Hall
University College Worcester, WR2 6AJ
Tel: 01905 855494
Fax 01905 855035