Enhancing Records

The first stage of the enhancement process comprised the validation of data obtained from participating institutions. Fields were checked to ensure that transfer from the original records to the project database had taken place without any data loss, and that the data had been transferred to the correct fields. Records were checked for their spatial and temporal relevance to the project, duplicate records were eliminated and data from different sources was assimilated.
The enhancement of data within each record commenced with spelling and grammar checks, and abbreviations were eliminated where appropriate. Each record was then expanded where necessary with the creation of event, source, find or contact records where information was available within the descriptive text. Checks were also made to ensure that the records were compliant with MIDAS recommendations. For example, additional records were created for the separate phases of multi-period and/or multi-use monuments that were previously recorded as single entries.
The final stage was to access secondary sources in order to clarify existing information or to add substantive new information. Published works referenced within the datasets were consulted where possible; and any new references cited in these works could also be checked for additional data.
Once the enhancement was complete the data was returned to the participating institutions. The database was divided into regional datasets for return to the relevant participating institutions. The data was supplied as a stand alone database and as Microsoft Access tables. Institutions using HBSMR or similar systems were able to incorporate the data into their own databases while those using paper recording systems could use the Artefacts from the Sea database as a stand alone record.


Example: Mon UID 11000, Submerged Forest
Monument 11000 was recorded within the Tees SMR (SMR 1603) as follows:
‘Remains of fens and birch and alder forest in peat bed. Area around Seaton Carew excavated in 1990 by C.C.A. prior to construction of sea defences (ref. 1)’
Ref. 1 states ‘Report Forthcoming’. It also gives grid reference, district, parish, period, condition, notes SSSI designation, a site visit, location of some slides and refers to two excavations (1990 and 1995).
A number of other monuments from the peat beds are described under other SMR numbers, which relate directly to this monument (as do a number of associated sources). This enabled the limits of the monument to be redefined and provides information about its relation to incorporate yet more monuments.
In the course of enhancement, one SMR source lead to the creation of two additional monuments, four additional events and eight source references. The information about and details of the original monument expanded to include a description, the extent and character of the submerged forest. This additional information greatly increases the understanding of the area that can be obtained directly from the SMR.