New software to map and manage Lincoln’s rich history

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A pioneering new digital platform is to be used to document and safeguard Lincoln’s cultural heritage.

Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) has announced agreements with Historic England and the City of Lincoln Council to implement the special platform.

It will categorize, map, and describe the rich cultural heritage of the city, such as Roman artefacts and iconic city buildings, as well as Greater London.

The Arches software is an online information platform built to categories and protect places of cultural heritage, including historical buildings, archaeology and historical landscapes.

Implementation of the two projects in England will take place after the completion of Arches Version 4.0 and are expected to be launched in Lincoln in 2017 and in London in 2018.

Lincoln has a broad heritage that includes standing Roman monuments, a wealth of buried archaeology, and nationally important medieval buildings including the castle, the cathedral, and the Bishops’ Palace.

As the city grows and new buildings are erected, the city council provides advice and information to help manage change. The council also maintains the Lincoln Heritage Database, a comprehensive list of all known archaeology, historic buildings and heritage information resources in the city.

Simon Walters, Director of Communities and Environment for City of Lincoln Council, said: “Lincoln is a growing and developing city, and we require systems that will help us to manage our heritage in the face of change and growth, and to provide information about it online for everyone to share.

“We are confident that Arches, customized to meet the requirements of our city’s existing heritage database, is such a system.

“We are also pleased to note that the work we do together here in the UK could potentially help heritage organizations across the world in later versions of the Arches system.”

Tim Whalen, director of the Getty Conservation Institute, said: “Our colleagues at Historic England have been enthusiastic collaborators, and over the years have provided invaluable advice and support in developing the Arches platform.

“The quality and volume of historical data maintained by Historic England and the City of Lincoln offers an opportunity for us to demonstrate the significant advantages of Arches to the international conservation community, and the benefits it offers those who are in need of a modern cultural heritage management system.”

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, added: “This partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute is a wonderful opportunity to build a new system to meet the city’s needs in the 21st century and set a new standard for historic environment data.”