Our Historic Environment Record information policy
The aim of York's Historic Environment Record (HER) is to bring together information about the archaeology, historic buildings and historic landscapes of the City of York for everyone’s benefit.
- Purpose of the York's HER
- HER database content and links
- ways to access York's HER
- HER conditions of use (including guidance for users)
Purpose of the York Historic Environment Record
The HER an important starting point for conservation, fieldwork and research into the historic environment and also informs local communities about their area. Using the information contained in the HER can help public understanding and enjoyment of the local historic environment. The HER originally developed as a planning control tool, to identify where historic remains are likely to be affected by development. Although this is still probably the most frequent use of the HER, its remit has expanded to include land-use planning and conservation initiatives, as well as research, tourism, education and local history projects. It is managed in accordance with national standards of good practice.
HER database content and links
The City of York Historic Environment Record (HER) includes a database (HBSMR by Exegesis Spacial Data Management) that holds information about remains from the prehistoric period to the present day, archaeological events (watching briefs, excavations, aerial photographs etc), and a collection of digital reports on these events. These provide information on nationally designated (conservation areas, listed buildings, registered parks and gardens and scheduled monuments), locally designated and undesignated heritage assets.
The database is linked to a series of digital maps held as Geographic Information System (GIS) files. The maps contain geographical depictions of all sites on the database, ranging from simple point locations to complex plots of extensive sites such as ancient field systems. Maps provided from the HER GIS are for information purposes only. Due to Ordnance Survey copyright restrictions this mapping must not be reproduced in researcher’s own reports.
Searches of the HER provide information selected from the record, normally for a defined area, although bespoke searches can also be done for particular periods or types of records. The data includes references to other sources held outside the HER.
The HER is constantly being enhanced, and the absence of a record should not be relied upon as indicating a lack of heritage interest, other national or specialist sources may contain information not held or indexed.
The HER tries to be responsive to the needs of existing users, to be proactive in identifying potential new users, and to seek out and overcome any barriers that may exist to using the record.
We maintain a log of all enquiries (following GDPR compliance). The resulting data is regularly reviewed to inform the development of the service.
Ways to access York's HER
City of York HER makes every effort to ensure that all users are able to use the publicly available services. All users must be treated fairly, with respect, dignity, and understanding by anyone working for, or on behalf of the HER, without prejudice and discrimination.
Access to information held at York HER is regulated by the Freedom of Information (The Stationery Office 2000), the Data Protection Act (HMSO 1998) and The Environmental Information Regulation 2004 (The Stationery Office 2004).
City of York HER is the copyright of City of York Council. Some information held in the HER may also be the copyright of others. It is the user’s responsibility to ensure that copyright law is not breached.
You can get information from the HER:
HER conditions of Use
We are committed to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the historic environment.
In order to ensure that information from the HER is used responsibly, those applying to consult it are requested to provide details about the nature of their enquiry and to follow the Guidance for Users outlined below.
Permission to use the HER may be refused or limited in certain circumstances.
Guidance for users of York's HER
- York HER users are requested to inform us of the following, in writing or by submitting a search form:
- the subject and purpose of their enquiry
- the use to which the information will be put; and
- the names of any other bodies or individuals outside their organisation to whom it is intended to pass HER information.
- Users are requested to inform, and to make their research available to the HER where new archaeological sites or data are discovered as a result of their work.
- Users are requested to make appropriate acknowledgement of the York HER in any publication or report which has made use of its data.
- While efforts have been made to verify the data held in the HER, we cannot accept responsibility for the accuracy of any particular data and its source.
- We accept that there may be a requirement to treat certain enquiries in confidence. Equally, we expect that users will not pass on HER information in an irresponsible or unethical manner.
- We reserve all rights of copyright which are owned in the material provided - dissemination to a third party without the written consent of the City Archaeologist is a breach of copyright - information supplied shall be used for the specified purposes only.
- Access to all or part of the information requested may be refused in certain circumstances - information may not be disclosed if:
- it relates to the subject matter of any legal or other proceedings, actual or prospective (including Local Planning Inquiries)
- it relates to confidential, internal communications of City of York Council
- it is contained in a document or other record which is still in the course of completion
- Information will not be disclosed if:
- it was supplied to City of York Council by another party who was under no legal obligation to do so, and could not have been put under any legal obligation to supply it and has not consented to its disclosure
- its disclosure would increase the likelihood of damage to the environment affecting anything to which the information relates
- A request for information may be refused if it is manifestly unreasonable or is formulated in too general a manner.