Introducing the Framework


This resource was developed with Historic England funding as part of a national strategy to create a series of self-sustaining regional research frameworks for the historic environment of England.  It was prepared in collaboration with stakeholders from across the historic environment spectrum, with guidance from a Steering Group and an advisory panel of regional, period and subject specialists, and comprises the following elements:

  • Defining the region: definition of the area covered in this framework.
  • Time periods: tabulated summary of the time periods employed in this framework.
  • County overviews: period syntheses for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire.
  • Regional overview: regional synthesis, building upon the county overviews.
  • Research Agenda: list of key research questions for each period and synthesis of research themes spanning multiple periods.
  • Research Strategy: strategy for advancing understanding of Agenda Topics, including measures recommended for building the foundations of research and details of period-based Strategic Objectives.
  • Environmental database: details of East Midlands sites yielding palaeoenvironmental remains.
  • Regional research hub: select bibliography: key general syntheses; extended bibliography: all publications and other references contained in this framework; online and other research resources; news and events: forthcoming conferences, meetings and other events on subjects relating to the historic environment of the East Midlands, including opportunities for volunteer involvement.


The framework is designed principally to assist with:

  • Defining research questions and strategies for inclusion in project designs submitted to research funding bodies
  • Preparing written schemes of investigation preceding developments impacting upon the historic environment
  • Providing background information for use during research and analysis

It also contains useful information on:

  • Palaeoenvironmental investigations in the East Midlands
  • Published and online research resources
  • Forthcoming events of interest to regional researchers


The framework has been prepared in liaison with historic environment stakeholders from across the region with the aim of maximising involvement. The key stages of development are summarised below, and are discussed further in the preliminary chapters of The Archaeology of the East Midlands and East Midlands Heritage.

*County overviews (1998-2000)
Eight period-based seminars were convened to discuss the region’s archaeological resource and to develop a regional research agenda. Copies of the period syntheses that were compiled for Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Rutland, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire were published as web resources in 2000, together with a list of sites yielding environmental samples that was compiled by Angela Monckton in 2001.

*Regional Overview and Research Agenda (2006)

The period overviews for each county provided the foundation for a series of regional period syntheses which were published in 2006. These included discussion of the research priorities for each period and were published under the title of The Archaeology of the East Midlands

*Updated Research Agenda and Strategy (2012)

The 2006 Research Agenda was updated to take account of changing research priorities, new concerns such as the potential impact of climate change and feedback received at Agenda Workshops on the need to place greater emphasis upon the built environment resource. This provided the foundation for a research strategy that was developed in response to feedback received during discussions at a Strategy Workshop and from circulated draft documents. The updated research framework, incorporating both agenda and strategy, was published in 2012 under the title of East Midlands Heritage.

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