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Archaeological Monument Records in the UK

National Monuments Records (NMR)

There are a series of National Monuments Records for England, Scotland and Wales. These were started by and maintained by the relevant Royal Commission for Historic Monuments. These are the only centralised database of information on archaeological monuments (and buildings, etc.) in the country, and can be consulted by the public. They will also reproduce records for a fee. The NMR for England was started in 1963 and kept by the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments in England (RCHME and now part of English Heritage). Unlike its English equivalent, the National Monuments Record for Scotland can be consulted over the internet via a relatively new internet query service entitled CANMORE, located at the Royal Commission for Historic Monuments Scotland web page.

Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs)

This is a local government maintained record started in the 1950s and 1960s in local planning areas (counties, metropolitan boroughs, districts, etc). These records are maintained and updated by a dedicated SMR officer, not necessarily a full-time post), and comprise records on card, text, photo, map. As locally created they all use different systems &emdash; which cannot easily communicate with each other. There are plans underway to synchronise the systems used by copying them all to a GIS structured-programme called EXEGESIS.