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Quick and easy way to track history

Posted on 15 January 2002

Important historical records in the UK can now be searched swiftly and at their most up-to-date point using a radically different Web service which the University of York has helped to build.

Each institution maintains its own records but searching them individually is time consuming and can be expensive. HEIRPORT, the Historic Environment Information Resources Portal, allows users to search several national heritage databases simultaneously, providing immediate 24-hour access to the ADS catalogue ArcHSearch; CANMORE (the Scottish National Monuments Record); SCRAN (the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network); and the Portable Antiquities scheme database. The Archaeology Data Service (ADS) based at the University of York, offers an alternative which is quick and easy to use but does not guarantee the most complete or up-to-date information.

The new portal has been developed for HEIRNET (the Historic Environment Information Resources Network) to enable organisations holding information about the historic environment to join together, sharing skills and improving access to their resources. HEIRPORT was developed by ADS at the University of York with technical assistance from the University of Kent at Canterbury and System Simulation Limited.

People with an interest in their local environment can use HEIRPORT to discover information held by several different organisations. HEIRPORT is tailored to serve their needs and will continue to develop - in future additional information resources will be added from museums, National Monuments Records and lottery-funded projects.

MP Tam Dalyell will launch HEIRPORT at the British Museum during the British Archaeology Awards lecture on 23 January.

Notes to editors:

  • HEIRPORT is online at
  • ADS exists to collect, catalogue, preserve, and provide user support for digital resources that are a product of archaeological research
  • HEIRNET (the Historic environment Information Resources network) is a consortium of organisations with an interest in information relating to archaeology and the historic environment. The membership includes the Council for British Archaeology, the Archaeology Data Service, English Heritage, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales and others.
  • ArcHSearch is the ADS catalogue which incorporates information from the English Heritage National Monuments Record, the Council for British Archaeology, several regional Sites and Monuments Records and from academic researchers.
  • CANMORE is the database of the Scottish National Monuments Records maintained by the RCAHMS
  • SCRAN is the Scottish Cultural Resources Access Network
  • The Portable Antiquities Scheme is the voluntary recording scheme for chance archaeological finds run by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.
  • Use of HEIRPORT is free for amateur and academic researchers

Contact details

David Garner
Senior Press Officer

Tel: +44 (0)1904 322153