In April 2019 a major 6-year project to transfer the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) to local authority Historic Environment Records (HERs) got underway. The NRHE contains over 550,000 digital records relating to England’s historic environment, and has developed since the 1980s from the first computerised National Archaeological and Buildings Records. The project, which is a major step forward in the Heritage Information Access Strategy, will see the responsibilities for maintaining, securing and providing access to this unique dataset transferred to local authorities, thereby bringing to an end the long-standing duplication of effort between national and local bodies and providing clarity for future researchers.
Thirteen HERs have now completed the transfer, with another twelve HERs in progress. Remaining HERs are invited to submit proposals to take part in the project and should refer to the Open Call for Proposals in preparing their bid.
This project builds on two phases of research and development work undertaken by the Data supply and Reconciliation between NRHE and HERs project, carried-out under Historic England’s National Heritage Protection Commissions Programme. The project researched and discussed the issues that would be involved in supplying NRHE data to HERs and the reconciliation necessary to achieve this. Wide consultation with HER Officers and other interested parties took place. There was overwhelming support to undertake this process, and a broad consensus on how best to do this. A range of possible solutions was evaluated, including a) fully automated import, b) managed/supervised import, and c) manual accessioning. The favoured method was manual accessioning assisted by web-based resources. This would enable HER staff to add the NRHE data to the HER through their normal user interfaces, copying from a definitive web-based view of the NRHE data, and each NRHE record would be signed off and correlated with HER record identifiers.
This website provides an interactive map of the monument and event records in the NRHE colour-coded by their accessioning status. The map also shows the Historic Environment Record areas and National Park boundaries. Clicking on any record brings up information including a link to the full record details. The record details page includes all of the data to be transferred from the NRHE, and tools for the HER to record their work. Statuses are updated automatically when responses are entered, and cross-references are collected allowing the HER's web-based resources to be opened as soon as concordances are established.
Progress is measured firstly on the main interactive map showing the distributions of records by status, and this view is supplemented by charts and tables showing both overall progress and progress by Historic Environment Record area.