Digital Developments: Historic Environment Record

20th August          2015                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Sophie Unger

By Sophie Unger

‘Have you ever found any treasure?’ is usually the first question I am asked as a professional archaeologist. My answer is usually ‘it depends on what you term ‘treasure’. As an archaeologist based at The Keep, I manage the Historic Environment Record (HER) which is database recording the known sites, finds, historic buildings and archaeology (including treasure) of East Sussex and Brighton and Hove.

A large part of my role is to provide searches of the HER database to commercial archaeologists ahead of developments which may damage existing archaeology. Another aspect to my role is the work with The Keep to ensure that information within historical documentary records is also included in the database. Part of the project is to record information from the 16th-19th century estate maps which are housed at The Keep. I am currently digitising the geographical index of the estate maps from a series of historic Ordnance Survey maps on to a geographic information system with the aim of enabling the maps to be found digitally in the Reading Room at The Keep rather than using a hard copy index.


Terrier MapDigital database


This development will be welcomed by the staff and visitors to The Keep to find out more easily what maps exist in areas of interest. We are a third of the way through the digitisation project so watch this space for further developments…

If you have questions about the project or would like to know more about the HER, please email: