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The Burial Space Research Database (Data Paper)Open Data

Toby Pillatt, Gareth Beale, Katie Green, Debbie Maxwell, Harold Mytum, Kieron Niven, Julian Richards, and Nicole Smith

Referee statement by Susan Buckham

Cite this as: Pillatt, T. et al. 2020 The Burial Space Research Database (Data Paper), Internet Archaeology 55.


The Burial Space Research Database is a new repository for data produced from systematic archaeological surveys of burial spaces, undertaken on a per memorial basis. It enables the many local, community groups conducting research in this field to share their findings and publish results. The structure and form of the database requires groups to use a standardised recording methodology and vocabulary, meaning that datasets from different surveys are interoperable, allowing connections and comparisons to be made within and between local research projects. While burial space research is dominated by data on people and inscriptions, the database is also designed to accommodate archaeological approaches to recording that include detailed descriptions of the material form of monuments. A sophisticated search interface allows users to interrogate the archived datasets using a variety of different criteria, potentially revealing previously unrecognised temporal and spatial trends in the postmedieval history of commemoration. By acting as a central repository for burial space research, including individual people commemorated, the database also has the potential to become a powerful tool for genealogical and family history studies, drawing together disparate records in one place and making them freely available.

  • Google Scholar
  • Keywords: burial space, cemetery, community group, database, archaeological survey, recording standards, genealogy, family history
  • Accepted: 06 April 2020. Published: 23 June 2020
  • Funding: This paper was published with support from the University of York Impact Accelerator Fund (AHRC-aligned).
  • Associated archive: Burial Spaces Research Database hosted by ADS

Corresponding author: Toby PillattORCID logo
Department of Archaeology/Digital Creativity Labs, University of York

Co-authors: Gareth BealeORCID logo
Department of Archaeology, University of Glasgow

Katie GreenORCID logo
Archaeology Data Service

Debbie MaxwellORCID logo
Department of Theatre, Film, Television and Interactive Media, University of York

Harold MytumORCID logo
Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool

Kieron NivenORCID logo
Archaeology Data Service

Julian RichardsORCID logo
Department of Archaeology, University of York

Nicole SmithORCID logo
School of Humanities, University of Glasgow

Full text

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