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Problematising the Historic Environment Record: Comments on Persistent Issues in England and Sweden

Journal article
Authors William Illsley
Published in Conservation and Management of Archeological Sites
Volume 21
Issue 2
Pages 113-134
ISSN 1350-5033
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Pages 113-134
Language en
Keywords Heritage management; data supply; historic environment; digitality
Subject categories Archaeology, North European


As a mainstay of local and national cultural heritage management, historic environment records play an effective role in the dissemination of data, particularly in the modern development control process. However, despite their functionality and sustained professional use, these inventories are not unproblematic, particularly in regards to informal usage. Based on the author’s professional experience this article will discuss some of the issues which convolute the delivery of historic environment data. These issues can be grouped thematically beneath the banners of fragmentation, interoperability, and accessibility. Underpinning these three topics is the relationship between historic environment records as institutions and digitality as both a cognitive process and a distribution mechanism. From a critical perspective, the extent to which these issues reoccur and inhibit the flow of data will be highlighted by examining the historic environment practice in England and Sweden in the hope that these insights can inform the contemporary approach.

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