FISH-HEIRNET: next meeting 9 June 2017

FISH members attending the next FISH-HEIRNET Spring Meeting – this will take place at Historic England’s main office in Waterhouse Square, London, on Friday 9 June 2017

Time: 11.00 – 16:00. (Working Lunch provided at 13:00).

Topics will include BIM4Heritage, how heritage terminologies map to BIM, updates on OASIS, the Thesaurus of Cultural Heritage, HIAS (including HERALD*), and reports from FISH contributing organisations.

See London Meeting Agenda for more details. 


*HERALD: Historic Environment Research Archives, Links and Data is the project name given to the redevelopment of the OASIS system and Stage 1 ran from January 2014 to May 2015. The project involved consulting the users from different sectors of the historic environment community using a combination of workshops,  surveys, telephone interviews to produce a number of survey reports. This then informed the design of a mock up of a new OASIS system to test potential changes in workflows and content gathered. The comments received from the community on the mock up and the survey reports went on to produce the recommendations for a new system in the final report.



IRMS Conference 2017 (21-23 May, Glasgow)

The next Information & Records Management Society (IRMS) Conference 2017 will take place on 21-23 May, at the Hilton in Glasgow, Scotland.

The conference focuses on records management and record-keeping for the commercial business sector rather than the heritage arena but is still relevant in certain areas. For more information about the program, click here for a conference summary or the full program.

Conference Topics

Key Features

  • High-level keynotes
  • Focused workshops
  • Interactive debates
  • Comprehensive exhibition
  • Peer-to-peer networking
  • Fully inclusive conference and hotel packages



Policy-UK Forum: A New Framework for UK Data Protection (London, 18 May 2017)

A New Framework for UK Data Protection
GDPR Implementation, Business Challenges and the Implications of Brexit

Date: Thursday, 18th May 2017 (08:30 – 13.00)
Location: 1 Birdcage Walk, Westminster, London, SW1H 9JJ


  • Christopher Docksey, Director, European Data Protection Supervisor
  • Rob Luke, Deputy Commissioner (Policy), Information Commissioner’s Office
  • Jo Blazey, Privacy Officer & Counsel, Vodafone;
  • Chris Combemale, Chief Executive, Direct Marketing Association;
  • Philip James, Partner, Sheridans; and
  • Steve Wright, Group Data Privacy & Information Security Officer, John Lewis Partnership.

Key issues for discussion:

Preparing for General Data Protection RegulationImplementation, Best Practice and Enforcement:

Discuss key implementation and compliance challenges facing data controllers and processors; best-practice compliance procedures; and the challenges and opportunities of elevating data protection to a board level concern.

Innovation and Business OperationsPrivacy by Design, Competitiveness and the Value of Data:

Analyse how organisations are transitioning to Privacy by Design; the potential impact on business operations; and how systems and procedures may need to be upgraded to improve security, consent and facilitate data portability and the right to be forgotten.

A British Approach to Data Protection – The Challenges and Opportunities of Brexit

Consider to what extent there is still uncertainty regarding the future UK data protection framework; the challenges and opportunities of regulatory equivalence and keeping cross-border data flows open; and the options for amending GDPR post-Brexit to create a bespoke UK data protection framework.

Find out more here.

Places at the forum (including course materials and refreshments) are £225 (+VAT)

Building Cultural Heritage Knowledge, British Museum (27-28 July 2017)

A symposium on Building Cultural Heritage Knowledge will take place at the British Museum on 27-28th July 2017. A workshop on building semantic databases will also be held on the 29th (tba).

Dates: Thursday 27 July  & Friday 28 July 2017

Location: British Museum, BP Lecture Theatre, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DG

The conference seeks to highlight the challenges for sustainable knowledge building between cultural heritage institutions, universities and the other interested audiences.

‘How do we combine knowledge, skills and experience to create digital resources that have high research value, meaningful content, and are interesting to a wide range of people and groups? How can interdisciplinary work be practically supported and maintained? How can the outputs of digital research be academically robust and accessible for reuse in other projects? How can we avoid digital disruption and fragmentation? Finally, what role should cultural heritage institutions and organisations play in preserving and disseminating knowledge?’

A number of bursaries are available.

The event is advertised with details on EventBrite at and will be updated regularly.

An overview of the ResearchSpace system is available at 

The British Museum/ResearchSpace symposium is funded by the Andrew W Mellon Foundation.


How to become a FISH member

New members are always welcome.

Membership is free. All you need to do to join FISH is to subscribe to the FISH mailing list on JISCMail. This enables you to join our discussion forums and e-conferences, and participate in the development of heritage standards and documentation tools either actively or as an observer.

The FISH list: 

To join, please contact JISCMail and specify ‘FISH’ as the group you want to subscribe to. More information on how to join can be found here:

Image of JISCMail logo w/ link to homepage

Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

UK Digital Strategy (1 March 2017)

The Secretary of State for Culture Media & Sport has launched the Government’s UK Digital Strategy. The Strategy commits to ‘undertake a major enhancement and rationalisation of heritage records nationally and locally’ as well as considering how the planning system can be made both more efficient and give the public greater involvement through better use of data and digital tools.

  • Click here to read the strategy
  • Click here to see the section on Heritage Records (see the section ‘Culture’)
  • Click here to see a useful summary by Heritage Alliance

Image result for UK Digital strategy logo

FISH Thesauri updated – Version 20 (February 2017)

We have now updated the FISH Thesauri (version 20). 

Click here to view the latest versions.

Candidate terms (terminology suggestions) are submitted to FISH all year round. Terms are processed and usually added to the FISH thesauri and authority files as and when they come in. Once a year the main thesauri are updated and uploaded to this website, where you can browse for a specific term, and Heritage Data, a related website, where you can download key thesauri as CSVPDF and LOD formats.

Please get in touch if you have any questions regarding the FISH thesauri or candidate terms.

ISKO UK: integrating taxonomies into technology (London, 14 March 2017)

Making Knowledge Organisation (KO) Work: integrating taxonomies into technology

When:  Tuesday March 14th 2017, at 14:30

Where: The British Dental Association, 64 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8YS (Directions)

The afternoon is FREE for ISKO members and full-time students, £40 for non-members.   For more information about the event, please click here.


Findability, navigability and interoperability – all can be boosted via taxonomies that are well integrated into technology supporting the functionality that the business and the end users require. A sophisticated taxonomy may provide for faceted structures, synonym control, relationships between terms and/or concepts, links to definitions and other business-oriented attributes. But all too often the downstream software proves incapable of storing the structure properly or exploiting the taxonomy capabilities in a user-friendly search interface.

“Making KO Work” explores the opportunities and the pitfalls. The options for a variety of scenarios and technologies will be described by speakers with practical experience of taxonomy integration.


  • Marc Stephenson, Metataxis (whether and how to implement taxonomies in SharePoint).
  • Joe Pairman, Mekon  (the use of templates for authors to tag their content easily, with benefits for personalized content delivery, analytics and quality control).
  • Chris Jones, Aberdeen Harbour (the challenges of getting KO techniques to work with IT systems, especially for search).
  • Alan Flett, Smartlogic (the storage and manipulation of taxonomies before they are output into applications).

All are invited to stay on for networking, wine and nibbles, kindly sponsored by Mekon.

The US National Park Service and spatial data transfer standards

In 2010 the US National Park Service (NPS) approved cultural resource spatial data transfer standards to help document the lineage of their cultural resource spatial data, used in geographic information system (GIS) applications throughout the NPS and for the public.

The standards also help integrate the numerous cultural resource databases maintained by the NPS for cultural resource management. In 2014 the Cultural Resource GIS Facility (CRGIS) implemented these standards with the Cultural Landscapes Inventory and List of Classified Structures databases.

Working with NPS regional GIS coordinators as well as regional cultural resource managers, the project automates legacy data contained within these databases, creating enhanced GIS data and forming a base for an authoritative NPS-wide cultural resource data set.

The purpose of these spatial data transfer standards is to facilitate updating, transforming and integrating digital experiences within the US National Park Service to enhance public understanding as well as internal NPS resource management.

For more information about this project:

3D Digital Documentation Summit, New Orleans (18-20 April)

The National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT) will partner with Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, Heritage Documentation Programs (NPS) and APTI Technical Committee for Documentation to host a three day summit on 3D digital documentation for cultural heritage.

Date: April 18 – 20, 2017

Location: Old US Mint Museum, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

Cost of the symposium: $299 Registration

The purpose of this summit is to advance the use and understanding of the various methods of 3D digital documentation and capture of cultural heritage. In addition, the summit aims to address issues with the long-term storage and management of the data generated by 3D digital documentation. Also, the NPS hopes to start discussions on and establish goals for their use of 3D digital documentation for architectural heritage.

The Summit will include two days of lectures organized into themed sessions. Presenters will be allotted 25 minutes with an additional 5 minutes for questions. Also, during the first two days, a poster session will be held to highlight new, upcoming, and student research in 3D digital documentation and capture. The Summit’s third day will include hands-on sessions. These sessions will take place at the around New Orleans and be led by various companies and firms who develop and practice 3D digital documentation.

This Summit will include sessions on topics such as Data Acquisition, Data Management, and Data Applications.

Call for papers: