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HER Searches - In Person?
#11
Blimey, this whole thread doesn't half seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill. I can only assume some people have seriously pissed off their local HER.

Regarding the accuracy of information and the potential for legal follow-up, that is a fairly ridiculous point. If you looked at a Tithe Map and it had a field called 'Ancient Burial Mound Acre' or 'Here be Gold Hill' you could surely reasonably take that as an indication of some archaeological potential. If a programme of evaluation then found sod all is a legal challenge likely to be launched? Perhaps against the Tithe Commissioners, er... A DBA can only collate the information and give a reasonable summary of the potential. If you haven't done the proper research, i.e. visited the actual HER office to check the sources, then you would be responsibly for the F-up.
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#12
I agree it is getting a bit excitable... however, the fair point remains...

If I phone up and ask what is available... and pay the going rate. what sort of information is being withheld that I (theoretically ) would have to travel in person to the office.

If I am told there is x number of reports, done by the diddleswick archaeology society... in 1975 and only available in a paper copy, then I could say... could you photocopy it for me - at the going rate.... rather than me having to travel down to watch the HER photocopy the info.

The main question is why a physical trip to the HER is required, when it can all be done on the phone and email. --- especially if the HER is a couple of hundred miles round trip.


Now before people panic - this is not me!

and indeed I recently had a brilliant conversation with an HER person who provided all the ifo and more that I needed. THE REASON WE NEED HERs!!!! but I did it... wait for it... on the phone!

amazing this technology!

Not to have would have required me to wait til monday ( if was Friday afternoon) and then I would have lost a day, travelling to the HER, sitting around and getting the same info.

Go figure?

:face-approve:

Quote:If you haven't done the proper research, i.e. visited the actual HER office to check the sources, then you would be responsibly for the F-up.
I quite agree. though a visit in person may not be the first approach...
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#13
BAJR Wrote:I
If I am told there is x number of reports, done by the diddleswick archaeology society... in 1975 and only available in a paper copy, then I could say... could you photocopy it for me - at the going rate.... rather than me having to travel down to watch the HER photocopy the info.

I hope you're not suggesting that HERs might charge to make copies of copyright material to which they do not hold the copyright? Thjye should refer you to Diddleswiick Arcaheology Society if you need a copy.
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#14
BAJR Wrote:I agree it is getting a bit excitable... however, the fair point remains...

If I phone up and ask what is available... and pay the going rate. what sort of information is being withheld that I (theoretically ) would have to travel in person to the office.

If I am told there is x number of reports, done by the diddleswick archaeology society... in 1975 and only available in a paper copy, then I could say... could you photocopy it for me - at the going rate.... rather than me having to travel down to watch the HER photocopy the info.

The main question is why a physical trip to the HER is required, when it can all be done on the phone and email. --- especially if the HER is a couple of hundred miles round trip.


Now before people panic - this is not me!

and indeed I recently had a brilliant conversation with an HER person who provided all the ifo and more that I needed. THE REASON WE NEED HERs!!!! but I did it... wait for it... on the phone!

amazing this technology!

Not to have would have required me to wait til monday ( if was Friday afternoon) and then I would have lost a day, travelling to the HER, sitting around and getting the same info.

Go figure?

:face-approve:


I quite agree. though a visit in person may not be the first approach...



No, indeed, a visit in person perhaps isn't the first course of action, but it is likely to be a necessary course of action. I'm not sure under what circumstances it would be a couple of hundred miles round trip, perhaps this is indicative of someone winning a tender by undercutting someone more locally-based then massively regretting it? If they haven't taken that sort of distance into account, then again, more fool them. In fact, do they even know anything about the archaeology of the area in which they are working, since they are apparently unfamiliar of the workings of the relevant HER?

You can hardly expect the HER staff to stand there photocopying sections of journals under any circumstances unless they: a) have this already in place as part of the service they offer (anyone with any sense/knowledge of the HER in question would have already asked this or would already know), b) have permission to reproduce someone else's copyright (as already pointed out), c) can expect to be able to invoice handsomely for the time it takes to do this (probably at anything between £25 and £100 per hour. Travelling down to watch them do it would be pretty stupid. Visiting in the first place and then photographing it with a digital camera yourself, free of charge, might seem a worthwhile reason to visit. Or going to a local library, that might hold the same thing and only charge 20p per page. Again, assuming that the person in question isn't having a 200 mile trip to visit the local library.

Some HERs will send you copies of basically everything they can digitally, which is great. Others can't, which isn't so great, but that's life. They should have found that out in the first place. At what point is 'information being withheld'?

Was the original query sent to you as: 'Dear BAJR, I tendered for a job miles from where I am based, without doing the proper research about how the HER is organised. I now find I need to actually visit the HER to get all the information I can and it is bloody miles away, which is going to cost me a lot more money than the £20 I budgeted Is there any way I can get round this without getting into trouble?'

Sorry, but this is doing my head in!
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#15
I don't think Davids scenario is that uncommon. I live in the east of England in a county with 3 local studies centres, one of which is in my home town. However the archaeological records are stored in the office located in the west of the county, with no computer access to the HER, and requires a round trip of nearly 200km....I don't think that is too unusual for lots of the larger English counties. I'm not complaining, access is available, but it does require a day out....
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#16
My local HER has a rather extensive library which along with the grey literature includes every publication they can get their hands on that refers to the local archaeology and history. It is visited regularly by commercial archaeologist traveling well over the 100 mile round trip as many companies that work in the area are based outside the county. The HER officer is part time and will send the HER data electronically anything else requires a visit. Reputable companies always send someone along often for whole day.
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#17
Don't worry there too much Red.

The general question still stands.

and you have already answered the question.

It is likely it needs a visit to an HER and a Local History centre etc.... Likely being the operative word. it should not be required as standard. less so if it is a small building plot and basically the HER has already informed the contractor they have nothing on record. BUT require contractor to go in - in person - to see that. Whoooo hooo!

One should also have a good relationship with your HERs they are the start of what is going on. but it does cost.. and that is fine. If I pay £30 per half hour I am perfectly happy for them to photocopy a journal... it is cheaper in time and money than me travelling in.

As to the distances ... see Kevin above.

Indeed... in Scotland... it is worse/better as HEr staff have always been very helpful.

I was tendering for a job on an island to get there, i would - same as everyone else - have to travel for a day to pick up the one ferry a day, and stay overnight and then work the day and then stay overnight and then catch the ferry home the next afternoon. the actual work was about 5 hours. -

The HER for this island was in Inverness.

Thank goodness they have this
http://her.highland.gov.uk/ where i could learn all about teh site and environs before talking on teh phone.

As a trip there would be 179 miles there... 4 hours there... and same back...


Even going to the WoSAS HER for work in the west of Scotland - is a 110 mile round trip. I have had only great help from them... and never had to step into the office.






The point of the original post is if it should be blanket required --- the answer i feel is no... it should be dependant on the site and the material curated by the HER - the quality of which is constantly getting better. .
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#18
the her is unlikely to legally be able to copy certain reports for commercial use but can offer to show said material in person.
If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers
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#19
Just a quick note to add here about distances - some areas have very large catchments. For me in North Wales given where we are based we could be doing a job which is less than 10 miles away (using our local knowledge) but for us to visit the HER would mean a round trip to the HER of almost 150 miles. We do make use of local libraries and archives but it is hugely problematic to travel that far for arguably limited information. Luckily we don't have the problem of the data being sent not being fit for purpose or the requirement for us to always visit the HER and staff are super helpful. And as for undercutting it is always the same - if others do not have to visit the HER than we price ourselves out of jobs.
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#20
Quote:the her is unlikely to legally be able to copy certain reports for commercial use but can offer to show said material in person.

and would let you know on teh phone - tht there was additional material that would require you to come in...
absolutely.

But would you like to go in and be told... nope there is nothing extra. ?
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