Guidelines for recording

The following guidelines for recording finds under the UKDFD scheme are designed to ensure that material uploaded to the database is of a satisfactory quality to facilitate identification and contribute to the scheme’s value as a research resource.


Images may be produced by scanning or digital photography, but must be sharp and of a sufficiently high resolution to permit identification. The image quality is of paramount importance. Unless a minimum standard is met, it will not be possible to identify the item, and the record will not be of any value to users of the database. For tips on producing images by scanning, see Scanning Tips. For tips on producing images by digital photography, see Photography Tips.

Do not use coins as size indicators on images. They may be familiar now; they might not be in a hundred years time! If a scale is included on an image, it should be calibrated in metric units (centimetres or millimetres), which should be clearly indicated. (It is not essential to include a scale on images, as the size is required to be specified separately.)

Please ensure, when known, that images of items are correctly orientated. For example, coin images should always show both sides the right way up.

The only acceptable file format is jpeg (jpg). Images should be 24 bit colour whenever possible. Individual image file sizes should preferably be in the range of 50KB to 150KB. Very small file sizes may result in an unacceptable record, due to lack of detail, and images with file sizes exceeding 250KB may fail to upload.


Please complete as many of the data fields as possible, and take care typing to minimise any errors.

Certain fields are mandatory, and it will not be possible to proceed unless these are completed. They include those for providing basic information (e.g. material and size) required for identification, and those for providing minimum details regarding the findspot (parish).

Type coin legends and other inscriptions in upper-case letters. Other fields are to be completed in ‘Sentence case’ letters.

Note that special characters like Æ and Ð, as found on Anglo-Saxon coins, and diacritical marks on letters such as é, ë and è, can be copied and pasted from the Character Map in the Windows Accessories folder
(Start > All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Character Map.)

Finds Eligible For Recording

Prehistoric stone tools and weapons, metal artefacts that date before circa 1650, and coins up to 1662 are eligible for recording on the database. Nondescript and irregular fragments of metal and badly worn coins are exceptions to this general rule.

Later finds are restricted to the following categories, so as to exclude material that would add little or nothing to existing knowledge. This list will be periodically reviewed, and users may submit new categories for consideration.

  • Badges
  • Barrel locks and keys
  • Buckles to c.1900
  • Buttons: decorated up to c.1800
  • Buttons: local militia & volunteer
  • Buttons: livery
  • Button hooks
  • Clog and shoe clasps
  • Cooperative Society checks
  • Crotal bells
  • Cutlery up to c.1900
  • Finger rings up to c.1900
  • Foot pattens
  • Furniture fittings to c.1900
  • Horse furniture
  • Jettons
  • Jewellery to c.1900
  • Jews harps
  • Keys up to c.1900
  • Lead toys
  • Market traders' tallies
  • Medals and medalets
  • Metal tickets and passes
  • Militaria: Badges
  • Militaria: Belt clasps
  • Militaria: Uniform buttons to c.1900
  • Pipe tampers
  • Pub checks
  • Seal matrices
  • Sovereign cases
  • Spurs
  • Thimbles up to c.1900
  • Tokens
  • Tools and implements up to c1900
  • Toy cannons
  • Vesta cases
  • Watch winders
  • Weights: Apothecaries
  • Weights: Bullion
  • Weights: Coin
  • Weights: Trade
  • Whistles