SHARED WEB INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR HERITAGE IN SCOTLAND AND WALES – FLEXIBILITY IN PARTNERSHIP
The Royal Commissions on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland and Wales were established in 1908 to investigate and record the archaeological and built heritage of their respective countries. The organisations have grown organically over the succeeding century, steadily developing their inventories and collections as card and paper indexes. Computerisation followed in the late 1980s and early 1990s, with RCAHMS releasing Canmore, an online searchable database, in 1998. Following a review of service provision in Wales, RCAHMW entered into partnership with RCAHMS in 2003 to deliver a database for their national inventories and collections. The resultant partnership enables both organisations to develop at their own pace whilst delivering efficiencies through a common experience and a shared IT infrastructure. Through innovative solutions the partnership has also delivered benefits to the wider historic environment community, providing online portals to a range of datasets, ultimately raising public awareness and appreciation of the heritage around them. Now celebrating its 10th year, Shared Web Information Systems for Heritage, or more simply SWISH, continues to underpin the work of both organisations in presenting information about the historic environment to the public.