A requirement to develop approaches to 'joined-up working' between Lincolnshire HER and the conservation officers in the county’s seven district councils was identified in 2009. A funding opportunity arose in 2010 when the initiative was taken forward as an English Heritage funded HER21 project: ‘Extending professional access to the Lincolnshire Historic Environment Record’.
The main technical aims of the project were to:
- Implement, test and evaluate a solution to make the county’s digital HER accessible to district council conservation officers.
- Digitise and make available information currently held only as a hard copy.
A custom website was identified as the most cost-effective technical solution. For reasons of privacy it was decided that the website would have restricted access. exeGesIS was contracted to work with the steering committee to develop the website as an effective tool to inform planning advice and decisions. The system was to be map-based, easy to use and was to include comprehensive, up-to-date data.
The website that resulted provides access to data on designated heritage assets, archaeological casework, consultations, fieldwork and site visits, historic sites and finds, listed building descriptions, conservation area appraisals and primary source material references for further research.
Large quantities of photographs, mainly supplied by the district councils were scanned and passed to the HER team for inclusion in the record.
Users have reported that the map-based user interface is highly functional and popular. The system is heavily used and interactions between the county HER and the conservation officers in the district councils have increased. The system has contributed effectively to agile working and a reduction in reliance on hard-copy images and other information.
Further information from Crispin Flower.