The Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (FISH)


The Forum on Information Standards in Heritage (FISH) was established in 1998 as a discussion forum for heritage organizations. Tracing its origins back to the Data Standards Working Party, its main focus has been on developing content and data standards for use in the heritage sector.

Member organizations  include:

In addition, FISH also has many individual members with the current membership  standing at approximately 400 individuals and organizations.

In Autumn 2012, FISH merged with the Historic Environment Information Resources Network (HEIRNET). There is considerable cross-over membership between the two groups and so it was agreed to share meetings to reduce cost.

Meetings are held twice a year with the Autumn meeting focusing on strategic developments for the sector and the Spring meeting focusing on technical issues.

The joint meetings are currently referred to as FISH/HEIRNET (with the obvious FISHNET being frowned upon).

FISH and Heritage Data

One of FISH’s main roles within the heritage sector is the promotion of interoperability and data exchange. One aspect of this work is the commissioning, maintenance and development of standardized vocabularies for use within the sector. FISH maintains a registry of these – FISH Terminology – which is managed by the FISH Terminology Working Group

The vocabularies listed on the FISH Terminology pages, range from small wordlists to complex polyhierarchical thesauri and FISH worked with the partners of the SENESCHAL project to make the major vocabulary resources available here as linked data.