Archaeological fieldwork, from geophysics to full scale excavation, should result in a report so that the body of archaeological knowledge at a given location can be accessed by future workers. Some of these reports can be fully published in a peer-reviewed journal such as our own Surrey Archaeological Collections, but the vast majority of fieldwork results in an unpublished report. Much of this work is either carried out by county archaeology units or commercial contracting organisations. This is especially the case since the original introduction of PPG16 (now replaced by the National Planning Policy Framework : NPPF) into planning regulations, as planning-inspired archaeology generally leads to such a report.
These reports are generally referred to as 'grey literature'. One of the main challenges of using this literature, as well as the sheer volume, is locating a copy. Most reports have at least been deposited as printed copies with the county HER, but many have also been copied to other libraries, such as our own. Some have been posted to the internet in digital, usually PDF, format, but many have not. The Society is currently aiming to rectify this situation.
Since 1978, the Society has published in its annual Collections volume, a brief summary of individual work carried out. What is needed is a finding aid to either physical or digital copies of the resulting reports and their location. This section of our website seeks to provide such a facility following the upload of over 2600 of these brief reports and enabling them to be searched. There are two ways of searching this information : as a listing, or as a map. Clicking on a record either on the listing or the map shows the extent of the available information. Those records with online links also enable you to go directly to the desired report.
- some of the grid references do not appear in exactly the right place - please email the webmaster with details and we will try to correct this
- the map needs to plot all points in your browser to start the search so could take a little time to load depending on your connection speed