Data Transfer to third parties

The Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS), the National Council for Metal Detecting (NCMD and the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers (ALGAO) have now agreed the terms and conditions for the transfer of PAS data to Historic Environment Records (HERs) and Sites and Monuments Records (SMRs).

The agreement means that HERs/SMRs will be able to use PAS data for all their normal purposes, such as development-control work and research enquiries, but they will only publish findspots on the Internet in the same way as the PAS does on its database.

This is to say that no finds will be published on the Internet to more than at National Grid Reference (NGR) of 4 figures (1kmsq), and only at parish (or less) for Treasure finds and finds from sites where the finder, landowner, HER Officer or Finds Liaison Officer (FLO) believes that there is a conservation threat (such as the risk of nighthawking) if the findspot is published.

Full terms

Conditions for the transfer of data from the Portable Antiquities Scheme Database to Local Authority Historic Environment Records

The following conditions apply to all who have access to the full data held within the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) Database

  1. You will not reveal your password to anyone else.
  2. You will not allow anyone other than yourself to use your account (for example, do not log on for another person to use the PAS database).
  3. You must not contact any finders without firstly liaising with the regional Finds Liaison Officer for that area.
  4. It is a priority that findspot information should be as accurate as possible and therefore you should not record material where there is doubt about its provenance unless there are strong reasons for doing so.
  5. If you wish to use the data recorded on the PAS database for publication purposes, you must in the first instance contact the Central Unit for permission to do so. This will be granted on a case by case basis. Therefore, you must ask for permission for each instance that you will be using the data.
  6. Images recorded on the PAS database, remain the copyright of the named person held within the metadata. The Scheme embraces open access, and therefore disseminates material under a Creative Commons By Attribution licence. You can opt out of this when entering images, but we hope you do not decide to do this.
  7. a) Any data downloads of personal data (e.g. finder or landowner names, or recorders) provided by the Scheme, or made by you, are not transferable to a third party.
    b) Any other finds data may be transferred to a third party in-line with the HER-PAS agreement on data transfer. That is to say, finds data can be published online up to a 4-figure NGR (1km) or using the 'to be known as' for 'sensitive' findspots. It is recognised that HERs will be required to pass on full PAS data (excluding data described in a) above) to third parties as part of their development control work and for other archaeological enquiries, though they might feel it preferable to direct such enquiries to the PAS (British Museum) directly.
  8. By using the PAS database, you consent to our terms of use and privacy policy.
  9. The Portable Antiquities Scheme reserves the right to revoke your license to use the PAS database at any time. This can be reinstated on appeal to the Central Unit if investigation reveals that there are grounds for this.

This document can be superseded by a formal agreement ratified by the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group.


As a user of the PAS data you will be subject to all relevant legislation such as the Data Protection Act 1998 and the Freedom of Information Act 2005.

  1. Online means on the world-wide web.
  2. The following organisations are members of the Portable Antiquities Advisory Group: the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, English Heritage, the British Museum, the National Museums & Galleries of Wales, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales, the Council for British Archaeology, the National Council for Metal Detecting, the Society of Museum Archaeologists, the Association of Local Government Archaeological Officers and the Country Land and Business Association.