Adding records to the database

So how do you record?

  1. Register for a user account on our site, we need to have you registered for auditing changes and notifications etc. Your personal details won't be sold or divulged to evil marketing companies or anyone else who hasn't signed up to our T&C.
  2. Contact your local and talk to them about self-recording your objects (we have a strict vocabulary for data entry and there are some things you might like explained before proceeding).
  3. You can only record your own finds as we can't divulge other people's details under the Data Protection Act (sorry!) Once we link your personal details to your account, you can see your own records easily and your name gets appended to records created by you automatically.
  4. If you have a Treasure object, we would rather that this is reported directly to the FLO for recording so that all the steps needed to dispense the law are followed and no confusion arises (sorry!)
  5. Once you have spoken to your FLO, you can happily record away! So keep reading.

Adding a find's basic information

Find form interface screen capture

  1. Once you have logged in, look for the button labeled "Add a new object (or artefact in some places)" on either your home screen or my finds or the main list of objects.
  2. Now you can fill in the data for your find. Many fields are strictly controlled by driven vocabulary - for example, object type auto-completes and others are select driven drop-downs. Most are pretty obvious! Just follow the labels to the left of each form control.
  3. Out of all the fields, the only compulsory ones that you must enter are object type and broad period. However, we want really complete records with as much information as you can give (you can edit later of course).
  4. Once you have filled in your form, press submit and you will be taken to your record and you can now add extra bits. We haven't adopted multi page forms as you might not have all details at hand and we're trying to make it all very simple

Adding numismatic data

Screen capture of numismatic interface

  1. You now have a choice of which bits of data you want to add to the record (if you have entered a coin, you can add numismatic data) and for this example we're assuming you are entering a Roman coin. So to add numismatic data, look for the link entitled "add numismatic data". Click on this.
  2. This step is driven by logic determined by the denomination type you have. Choose a denomination and a series of cascaded or linked dropdowns are activated.
  3. Once you have chosen a denomination, then choose a ruler from the list that is generated (you can't enter a ruler that doesn't exist for a denomination type!)
  4. After a ruler has been chosen, the cascade sets in motion again and configures the mint, moneyer (only available for Republican coins), reverse type (only available for 4th Century coins) and Reece period. Choose the correct option for your coin if you can fill it in. If not leave blank.
  5. Enter any information for reverse/obverse inscription/description
  6. Choose die axis measurement and status options
  7. Now save your data and you will return to the record you have created.

Adding spatial data

Findspot data capture form

Provenance is vital for the study of stray archaeological finds. The majority of objects we record will have little or no archaeological context and are found in the plough soil, but their spatial co-ordinates may well tell you more about the area's archaeology. By providing the Scheme with higher degrees of precision for your findspots, the better the research academics and lay researchers can do from these data. The form for recording the spatial data is again pretty straightforward and you have the option to hide sections from public view (comments, address, postcode, all co-ordinates). The below outlines how to enter the spatial information for a findspot (all finds can only have one!)

  1. All objects are attached to a named place. We use the Ordnance Survey's place name data, so we have an array of data to choose from (Euro-region, County, District, Parish). These place name drop-down lists are also cascaded, so start by choosing your county and then follow the dropdowns choices as presented.
  2. To hide the data entered in step 4 from the public, you can enter a pseudonym in the "known as" box (be sensible about it :) )
  3. If you have an address and postcode for the findspot, please fill these in (these never get displayed to the public or research user).
  4. Now we need to get the co-ordinates for the findspot. If you don't have a provenance for the find, we'd rather it wasn't recorded as it doesn't add to our useful archaeological record. If possible, record to a higher precision than 4 figure grid reference (which is better than 1km square precision) - this is the maximum level we'll publish data online to the public user.
  5. After filling in this section you can tell us about the landuse types and any comments or descriptions needed about the findspot.
  6. Now save your data!
  7. This returns you to the record, where you will now see a map of your findspot and the data that you have entered.

Adding an image or images

A screen capture of the image interface

A visual record of the object is really important for research of the object (for many researchers it is often more important than the findspot!) Adding an image is quite straightforward and we add one at a time to make it more simple. We do suggest naming your files sensibly, avoiding non-alphanumeric characters and removing spaces (replace with an underscore, hyphen or camel case the filename).

To add an image do the following:

  1. Look for the add an image link
  2. After clicking on this, you'll see a form with several fields. Click on the 'choose' button to find your image that you want to attach (must be under 6MB and we would rather that you uploaded a high resolution JPEG or TIFF image.) If your filename already exists, we'll tell you and likewise if it is an invalid filetype.
  3. When you get to the image label box, refer to the image labeling document produced by our Finds Advisers for the correct methodology that we want to adhere to.
  4. Choose your county, copyright, period and image type (your default copyright can be set from the edit account link under your home area. Set it and then logout and back in so that the session picks up the default.)
  5. Then submit the new image
  6. If everything works okay, you'll then get redirected back to the record and you can add a new image if needed
  7. All users can download the original image - we share everything on this site!

Taking good quality images

This is really important for the record of the object, you can get some good advice on-line or by purchasing Ian Cartwright's short guide entitled 'Photographing detector finds'. If you want good examples of images, have a look at our FLO for the Isle of Wight, Frank Basford's records.

Basic desires from the Scheme for images are:

  • 300 dpi resolution (so images can be reproduced for academic publication)
  • good lighting
  • a white or black background
  • well focused with good depth of field
  • scale bar - you can get some good ones from here: http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/dir3/paper_rulers/

Images and text on this website are disseminated under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share-Alike licence and are used in a variety of media for enriching our knowledge of the past. You can opt out of this by choosing 'all rights reserved' under the image copyright dropdown, or by choosing this as default from your profile settings.

We'll have some more information on photography and scanning of objects and coins in the coming weeks.

I'm still struggling with the above!

If you still need help self-recording objects, you can go firstly to your FLO for help and more information on our recording philosophy or contact us at the Central office on info@finds.org.uk