MEDIN data archive centres for marine historic environment data

The Archaeology Data Service (ADS), Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) have been accredited as MEDIN Data Archive Centre for marine historic environment data.

Archaeology Data Service (ADS)

about ADS

The Archaeology Data Service supports research, learning and teaching with freely available, high-quality, dependable digital resources. It does this by promoting and disseminating a broad range of digital data in archaeology and preserving it for the long term. The ADS promotes good practice in the use of digital data in archaeology, provides technical advice to the research community and supports the deployment of digital technologies. ADS is one of the MEDIN DACs for historic environment data.

data held

The ADS collects data sets within the area broadly defined as Archaeology and the Historic Environment, including the material culture aspects of Ancient History and Classics. The ADS does not limit its collections policy according to any particular theme. Consultation with the user community indicates a broad range of research and teaching interests across all aspects of cultural history.


The geographical remit of the ADS is to provide digital archiving facilities for all areas of the world in which UK archaeologists have research interests. However it is recognised that, since the ADS is UK-based and there is extensive high-quality digital data for the archaeology of the UK in demand from UK-based archaeologists, the ADS should give priority to digital archaeology data for the British Isles. There are no chronological limits to the ADS collections, which cover the archaeology of the Palaeolithic to the present day. In the areas of evolution and archaeology of the early hominids, the ADS shall liaise with other digital archives to define areas of responsibility.

data sets

Various types of marine associate data sets are held by the ADS. Potential depositors should contact the ADS for information about depositing. ADS staff are available to consult with potential depositors by email or telephone during office hours (9-5, Monday to Friday). Other resources for the use of potential depositors include a series of guides to good practice as well as a 'Preparation of files for deposit with the ADS' factsheet summarising the information in our depositors' guidelines. Other ADS guides cover archiving digital aerial photography interpretations, excavation and fieldwork data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geophysics data.

accessing the data

All data held and archived by the ADS is available through our search interface ArchSearch. ADS holdings are split between 'monument inventories' and 'archives' and this division is explicit on the ADS website with separate search mechanisms for each. The archives themselves are classified into a number of categories such as subject, programme and region. By using the faceted classification system, a user can constrain the archive search. The results themselves can then be ordered alphabetically by title or chronologically on the year of their release. The ArchSearch faceted classification system works on 'where, what and when' searches. If a user knows exactly what part of the country they are interested in, ArchSearch also features an interactive mapping panel that allows the selection of a particular area of interest and displays results.

data use

Users of data archived and hosted by the ADS are requested to agree to terms and conditions of use. The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) levies no charge to use its collections when used according to these terms. It is the aim of the ADS to provide integrated access to a variety of data sets at no cost to end users. This aim can only be achieved if the organisations that supply data can be assured that their own rights are protected. Consequently, use of the catalogue is covered by a variety of legal instruments to protect us, our users and those who supply data to us. The Common Access Agreement asks that users be fair and reasonable in their use of the data supplied through the ADS.

The ADS levies no charges, there are no documents to sign and none will be applied retrospectively. We do not hold information on specific users. In return we ask that you acknowledge the source and copyright of any data you use, that you tell us of any errors you find and that, if you undertake any work based substantially upon it, that you tell us about it and send us a copy of any subsequent publication. The data must not be sold or supplied to a third party. The data should only be used for teaching, learning and research purposes. By 'teaching', we mean directed teaching undertaken with a designated tutor in a formal setting. By 'learning', we mean self-directed study, whether or not attached to an educational institution, including the educational activities undertaken in museums, libraries and cognate institutions. By 'research', we mean any work undertaken for the advancement of archaeological knowledge and/or the understanding of the historic environment. Such work may be commercially sponsored or it may be funded by academic bodies or learned societies, or it may be unsupported, but it is a condition of use that the results are placed in the public domain and made freely available for others to use according to the normal principles of professional and academic practice.

contact details

Archaeology Data Service, Department of Archaeology, The King's Manor, University of York, York, YO1 7EP, telephone +44 (0)1904 323 954, Fax +44 (0)1904 323 939

Historic Environment Scotland (HES)

about HES

Historic Environment Scotland encourages people to value and enjoy their surroundings, to provide a world-class record of the historic and built environment to local, national and international audiences, as well as advancing understanding of the human influence on Scotland's places from earliest times to the present day.

data held

Historic Environment Scotland collects various types of marine associated data sets and paper archives relating to Scotland's heritage including its territorial waters. There are no chronological limits to our collections, which cover the archaeology of the Palaeolithic to the present day.

submitting data

Potential depositors to Historic Environment Scotland should contact for information and guidelines for deposition. Depositors should also look at the Guides to Good Practice, which provide guidance on archiving digital aerial photography interpretations, excavation and fieldwork data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and geophysics data, published by the Archaeology Data Service.

accessing data

Data deposited with Historic Environment Scotland follows an accessions procedure. Once catalogued, our digital holdings are available online through the Canmore database. Canmore combines location information, site details and images on more than 300,000 archaeological, architectural, maritime and industrial sites throughout Scotland in a searchable database and web map browser. Information from Canmore is also published on PastMap and provided to the National Marine Plan Interactive portal.

data use

Data created by Historic Environment Scotland is Crown Copyright. Some data, including pdfs, may be downloaded from Canmore but requests for digital images, photographs, copies of drawings, photocopies and lasercopies, GIS and database downloads and reports may be made online and can be supplied for a small fee. A quote is always supplied on order requests with no commitment to purchase.

The source and copyright of any data you use should be acknowledged. Data must not be sold or supplied to a third party.

contact details

Historic Environment Scotland, Collections Unit, Longmore House, Salisbury Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1SH, telephone +44 (0)131 668 8099

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW)

about RCAHMW

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has a leading national role in developing and promoting understanding of the archaeological, built, and maritime heritage of Wales, as the originator, curator and supplier of authoritative information for individual, corporate and governmental decision makers, researchers, and the general public.

The landscape and built heritage of Wales result from people’s interaction with the natural world over thousands of years. Since it was established in 1908, the Royal Commission has led the way in researching and explaining the remains of that interaction – the archaeology and the historic buildings we see around us.

data held

In addition to the extensive site database which comprises the national record of the historic environment in Wales and numbers over 1116,000 entries, the Royal Commission holds a unique collection of photographs, maps, images, datasets and reports within its archive, The National Monuments Record of Wales (NMRW). Both the site database and archive contain records relating to the marine environment, including shipwrecks, submerged landscapes and coastal features; and the NMRW includes archives and datasets from maritime recording and archaeological survey.

accessing the data

The information held by RCAHMW is made freely available under the Government Non-commercial License, and can be accessed in multiple ways. Through Coflein, our online site database and catalogue, which allows users to search our site database and related catalogue of archive collections; via the People’s Collection Wales website and the Historic Wales Portal, which allow our records to be viewed alongside those of other bodies in the heritage sector in Wales; or by accessing the NMRW directly in our public search room and through our public enquiries service. We also engage with our audience through our publications, exhibitions, and a host of other activities.

contact details

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, Ffordd Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3BU, telephone +44 (0)1970 621200