Researching the historic environment: key skills and resources


Heritage research demands a diverse knowledge base and a complex skillset. The evidence that heritage researchers use on a daily basis is multidisciplinary: from combing through published and unpublished reports to processing maps, analysing historic images, and investigating artefacts. Having the knowledge to find useful and reliable sources of information and possessing the skills to process this evidence is paramount to producing high quality reports.

This course provides instruction in four main categories of research: (1) published and unpublished reports and archives, (2) museums and artefacts, (3) photographs and other visual resources, and (4) maps and spatial data. Each of these topics is led by an experienced professional who will address key physical and online resources as well as fundamental considerations when it comes to using this information in research, from critical analysis through to basic starting points in software. While the course deals with these areas in detail, it also provides a framework for thinking across these categories synoptically with advice on how to construct strategic priorities for research, and an interactive discussion session on what makes a high-quality report.

This course provides a primer for those starting out in professional and postgraduate heritage research as well as for more experienced researchers seeking to refresh and bolster their existing skillset.


Programme details

Day 1: 29th June 2021

9.30am            Planning priorities for research

                        Dr Toby Martin, OUDCE

10.30am          Archives, libraries and grey literature

                        Dr Victoria Donnelly, Senior Cultural Heritage Consultant,


11.30am         Break

12.00 noon    Museums and objects

                       Anni Byard, Oxford Archaeology, University of Leicester and 

                       Ashmolean Museum

1.00pm          End

Day 2: 30th June 2021

9.30am            Photographs and visual sources

                        Julian Munby, formerly Head of Buildings Archaeology,

                        Oxford Archaeology

10.30am          Maps and landscapes

                        Scott Chaussée, Marine Geophysicist, Wessex Archaeology

11.30am           Break

12.00 noon      Putting it all together: what makes a high-quality report?

                        Dr Toby Martin, OUDCE

1.00pm           End

Dates, Times and Delivery

Researching the historic environment: key skills and resources (Online) course will run over two days, from 29-30 June 2021.

Sessions will be 3.5 hours, delivered online via Microsoft Teams, from 09:30 – 13:00 (UK time).

A world clock, and time zone converter can be found here:

No attendance at Oxford is required and you do not need to purchase any software.



Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford electronic certificate of attendance. 

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.

You will be required to attend all of the live sessions on the course in order to be considered for an attendance certificate. 


Description Costs
Standard course fee £225.00


Fees include electronic copies of course materials.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.



Miss Anni Byard


Anni has been working in archaeology for 20 years, firstly as a commercial field archaeologist then for 11 years as the Finds Liaison Officer for Oxfordshire and West Berkshire with the Portable Antiquities Scheme. Anni left the PAS in 2019 to pursue a PhD with the University of Leicester and Ashmolean Museum, researching the Iron Age to Roman transition in Britain from the perspective of coin hoards. Her research focuses on the appearance of hoards and coins both in the landscape and in archaeological contexts. Anni works part time for Oxford Archaeology South as their small finds specialist and has a BA in Archaeology from the University of Liverpool and an MSc in Applied Landscape Archaeology from the University of Oxford.

Mr Julian Munby


Julian Munby, formerly Head of Buildings Archaeology, Oxford Archaeology

Dr Victoria Donnelly


Victoria is a Senior Historic Environment Consultant at Arup and Member of the Chartered Institute for Archaeologists with over seventeen years’ experience within the Cultural Heritage sector. Her doctoral research (University of Oxford) into grey literature reporting provided new insight into the relationship between development-led archaeology and dissemination of new archaeological understanding. As a critical analysis and review of historic environment practice since 1990, her doctoral research also included recommendations for best practice and standards and guidance.

Mr Scott Chaussée


Scott obtained his BA in Anthropology at the University of Kansas (USA) and his MA in Social Archaeology from the University of Southampton. He is in the final stage of doctoral study at UCL. His research examines the archaeology of communities in the Roman and early medieval landscapes of southern England. Since 2019 Scott has worked as a terrestrial and marine geophysicist at Wessex Archaeology.  In addition to utilising terrestrial and offshore spatial data at work, he teaches GIS and spatial statistics at undergraduate level and leads multi-disciplinary research projects in association with local museums and community groups.

Dr Toby Martin

Course Director

Toby obtained his BA in Archaeology and Anthropology as well as his MSt in European Archaeology from the University of Oxford, and studied for his PhD at the University of Sheffield. Since 2013 Toby has worked as a Research Fellow and a Lecturer at the University of Oxford’s School of Archaeology. His research focuses on the early medieval period, with a particular interest in the social role of objects in Europe in the centuries that followed the collapse of Roman imperial rule.

Learning outcomes

Participants completing this course should:

  1. Knowledge. Understand where to find key published and unpublished heritage resources covering archaeological reports and archives, visual resources, spatial information and artefacts
  2. Skills. Understand how these data might be stored, processed, combined and applied to specific research questions
  3. Synthesis. Be able to construct a roadmap for following through a research project from first explorations to final report



Please use the 'Book' or 'Apply' button on this page. Alternatively, please contact us to obtain an application form.

IT requirements

This course is delivered online using MS Teams.

To participate you must be familiar with using a computer for purposes such as sending email and searching the Internet. You will also need regular access to the Internet and a computer meeting our recommended minimum computer specification.
It is advised to use headphones with working speakers and microphone.