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The regional synthesis that was published in 2006 incorporated a period-based research agenda and identified a series of overarching research themes. This formed the foundation for an Updated Research Agenda and Strategy that was published in 2012 and launched later that year at a conference in Derby. That document represented the final stage for the East Midlands of the Regional Research Framework initiative that was proposed in Frameworks for our Past and incorporated a research strategy for the region’s historic environment that we hope will be revised regularly on the basis of input to this digital resource.
Compiling the Strategy
Compilation of the Strategy was coordinated by David Knight and Blaise Vyner, with valuable input from Carol Allen in its earlier stages. It was made possible by funding provided by Historic England and was guided by a Steering Group with members drawn from the curatorial, academic, contracting and consultancy sectors. The project also benefited from the input of an advisory panel comprising a broad range of period and subject experts who advised on all aspects of the historic environment. Beyond this, we consulted widely with individuals and organisations with interests in the historic environment, including developers, consultants and voluntary bodies, together with archaeologists and buildings specialists from the academic, contracting, curatorial and museum sectors. Representatives of other national and regional organisations, including such diverse bodies as Historic England, the National Trust, The Institute for Historic Building Conservation, Natural England and the Environment Agency, were also consulted.
Research strategies were discussed initially at a workshop on the built environment that was convened in December 2008. This generated a draft strategy for the built environment resource that helped to inform discussions at a Strategy Workshop convened in April 2009. Strategies proposed by participants in the latter workshop were incorporated into a document that was disseminated widely for feedback. Comments were incorporated into a final draft, which was circulated to consultees for further feedback. All comments were taken into account during the preparation of the Updated Strategy, which represents a distillation of many opinions on the priorities for future research.
Presenting the Strategy
Building the Research Foundations
This initial section focuses upon measures that it is recommended be implemented in order to enhance the regional research resource. Discussions with stakeholders have highlighted a number of key measures, which are considered here under the following five headings:
Period Strategic Objectives
The Strategic Objectives that were defined during stakeholder discussions are summarised for each period in tables designed to show clearly correlations between Agenda Topics and Objectives. For convenience of description, each Objective has been allocated a unique alphanumeric code incorporating the relevant period number (1A, 1B, etc).
For each period, the correlation table is followed by a concise description of each Strategic Objective and by details of the following:
It is hoped that this will provide for each Strategic Objective a readily accessible source of information that will facilitate the preparation of applications for research funding by stakeholders.
A wide range of period- and subject-based research frameworks has been prepared by Historic England and other organisations. These have been consulted to establish potential synergies with the Research Strategy that is proposed here. For convenience of reference, key documents that were consulted during preparation of the Research Agenda and Strategy are listed below.
Early Medieval to Modern
Multiperiod and Sub-Regional Research Frameworks