Wiltshire Sites and Monuments Record: SMR Enhancement

Wiltshire Sites and Monuments Record (SMR) is maintained by the Archaeology team at Wiltshire Council and provides a record of archaeological sites, monuments, activities and sources of information. Every piece of archaeological fieldwork in Wiltshire results in a report which is lodged with the SMR and is ultimately catalogued and indexed to inform subsequent planning and policy decisions and also to support research projects. The volume of reports submitted and the work involved in accessioning and creating new SMR records from paper based reports has, over time, resulted in a backlog of reports waiting to be accessioned.
 
Wessex Archaeology undertake a considerable amount of work in Wiltshire and it was recognised that a cost effective way of reducing the backlog would be to commission Wessex Archaeology to process some of these reports creating new SMR records and enhancing existing ones. 
 

Enhancing the record

Two projects were undertaken following an initial pilot study. Using digital data from Wessex Archaeology’s archives, our team were embedded for the duration of the projects within the archaeology team at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre in Chippenham. This allowed them to work directly with the live SMR database and to import and create new records as needed with the support of the archaeology staff. This also facilitated the QA process as records created or amended could easily be checked by the Wiltshire Council Archaeology team.
 

Conclusions

Whilst in many cases it is possible to undertake enhancement work remotely from our offices, it is also possible to deploy Wessex Archaeology specialists to work within the Sites and Monuments Record or Historic Environment Record. The use of external contractors can be a cost effective way of adding to or enhancing the archaeological record.