Cite this as: McKeague, P. 2021 A Snapshot in Time: a review of current approaches to archaeological archiving in Scotland, Internet Archaeology 58. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.58.14
Hosted by Historic Environment Scotland (HES), the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) is the primary place of deposit for archaeological archives in Scotland. Built up over several decades, the archives hold over 1.6m items, both analogue and digital, linked to a site inventory of over 320,000 site records relating to the archaeological and architectural history of Scotland. Initially the survey archive of the former Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, the collections now include project archives from professional archaeological companies, academic researchers and, increasingly, community projects. A range of policy and professional drivers, as well as best practice, encourage archival deposition. The digital component of the archive has grown considerably over the last decade. In response, the NRHE has invested in preservation software to manage these holdings and has submitted an application for CoreTrustSeal. The NRHE is available online through the Canmore database and web-map applications. The online presence is assessed against the FAIR Data principles.
Corresponding author: Peter McKeague
Historic Environment Scotland
Table 1: Range of catalogued material in the archives by discipline and category (some material relating to ruined monuments such as castles is double indexed). Digital content is shaded (sampled 27 November 2020)
Table 2: Digital data formats in the archive (sampled 27 November 2020)
Table 3: External archaeological content held in the digital archive (sampled 27 November 2020)
CIfA 2014 Standard and Guidance for Archaeological Excavation. https://www.archaeologists.net/sites/default/files/CIfAS&GExcavation_1.pdf [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
Cowley, D., Banaszek, Ł., Geddes, G., Gannon, A., Middleton, M. and Millican, K. 2020 'Making LiGHT work of large area survey? Developing approaches to rapid archaeological mapping and the creation of systematic national-scaled heritage data', Journal of Computer Applications in Archaeology 3(1), 109-21. https://doi.org/10.5334/jcaa.49
Gilman, P. 2004 'Sites and Monuments Records and Historic Environment Records in England: is Cinderella finally going to the ball?', Internet Archaeology 15. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.15.3
Historic Environment Scotland 2021 Guidelines for Archiving of Archaeological Projects. https://canmore.org.uk/sites/default/files/HESArchives_DepositorsGuidance_ArchaeologicalProjects_2021.pdf [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
Historic Environment Scotland 2020 HES Archives: Digital Repository Management Policies. https://www.historicenvironment.scot/archives-and-research/publications/publication/?publicationid=0eb12d93-32d0-4450-8ef7-ab7d00f85f54 [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
Historic Environment Scotland and Built Environment Forum Scotland 2016 Scotland's Historic Environment Audit 2016. https://www.historicenvironment.scot/archives-and-research/publications/publication/?publicationid=bac8296b-fcd4-4fdf-8617-ab9e009235db [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
International Council on Archives 2000 ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description Second Edition Adopted by the Committee on Descriptive Standards Stockholm, Sweden, 19-22 September 1999 Ottawa 2000. https://www.iasa-web.org/cataloguing-rules/appendix-fonds-and-collection-level-cataloguing [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
Mann, B. and Robertson, A. 2020 Feasibility Report on Implementing a Museum Processing Fee for Archaeology in Scotland. Scotland's Archaeology Strategy. http://archaeologystrategy.scot/files/2020/12/2020-Feasibility-Report-on-Implementing-a-Museum-Processing-Fee-for-Archaeology-in-Scotland-FINAL.pdf (Last accessed: 27 May 2021)
Murray, D. 1896 An Archaeological Survey of the United Kingdom. The Preservation and Protection of Our Ancient Monuments, Glasgow: James Maclehouse.
Richards, J. 2021 'Archiving Archaeological Data in the United Kingdom', Internet Archaeology 58. https://doi.org/10.11141/ia.58.21
Scottish Government 2011 Planning Advice Note 2/2011: Planning and archaeology. https://www.gov.scot/publications/pan-2-2011-planning-archaeology/ [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
Scottish Government 2014a Our Place in Time https://www.gov.scot/publications/place-time-historic-environment-strategy-scotland/ [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
Scottish Government 2014b Scottish Planning Policy https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-planning-policy/ [Last accessed: 27 May 2021].
Wilkinson, M., Dumontier, M., Aalbersberg, I. et al. 2016 The FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship. Scientific Data 3(1), 160018. https://doi.org/10.1038/sdata.2016.18
Wright, H. and Richards, J.D. 2018 'Reflections on collaborative archaeology and large-scale online research infrastructures', Journal of Field Archaeology 43 suppl. 1, S60-S67, https://doi.org/10.1080/00934690.2018.1511960
Internet Archaeology is an open access journal based in the Department of Archaeology, University of York. Except where otherwise noted, content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY) Unported licence, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that attribution to the author(s), the title of the work, the Internet Archaeology journal and the relevant URL/DOI are given.
Internet Archaeology content is preserved for the long term with the Archaeology Data Service. Help sustain and support open access publication by donating to our Open Access Archaeology Fund.