Revealweb 2011

January 2011 Update: Although the Revealweb database proved popular and successful, it was not possible to obtain funding to keep the resource available in its original form. Consequently, the data was moved to the UnityUK database and it continues to be updated by contributors such as RNIB. Please address any queries to UnityUK.

Revealweb 2003

Revealweb, a national database of resources in accessible formats, was launched in September 2003. It is a web-based catalogue bringing together information about titles produced in accessible formats that are available in the UK, together with a register of suppliers of accessible format materials and transcription services. It will:

August 2005: Revealweb now has details of 112,528 titles, with 107 organisations on the register of suppliers, and the site receives around 30,000 hits a month; with over 500,000 hits since its launch. But the best judge of the real impact is the target audience - those who need these materials, and their intermediaries (teachers, support workers and carers). See Feedback page


Revealweb replaces the National Union Catalogue of Alternative Formats (NUCAF), created and maintained by RNIB. This catalogue had no direct online access for users, and its data was becoming increasingly unreliable, since many contributors had not reported withdrawn titles, and not all relevant organisations were reporting titles held.

As part of the joint Library and Information Commission and Share the Vision programme to improve library and information services for visually impaired people, in 1999 UKOLN was commissioned to carry out a strategic review of the role of a national union database of resources in accessible formats and to make a technical specification of the data elements required. A report was submitted to the Steering Committee in January 2000 and the recommendations accepted in full. The full text of the report and an accompanying briefing paper are available in Word7 and PDF formats.

UKOLN continued to work as part of the development team. A feasibility study was carried out to develop a management structure, business plan and technical system specification for the Revealweb database. The study was funded through a grant awarded by the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme and took place between May and September 2000 [press release]. An edited version of the report and accompanying study evaluation are available in Word7 and PDF formts.

Further development work has been funded by DCMS and MLA, the British Library, Lloyds TSB, the Ellerman Foundation, with contributions of staff time, resources and expenditure from NLB and RNIB. UKOLN has continued to provide advice on bibliographic management for Revealweb.

The database structure was created in the first half of 2003. Data was then migrated from NUCAF, cleaned and enhanced. The opportunity was taken to move to MARC 21 cataloguing and to start to use Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) and the Guidelines for Subject Access to Individual Works of Fiction and Drama (GSAFD). Revealweb was launched on 16 September 2003.

Further Information

Ukoln staff who worked on this project were: Ann Chapman and Richard Waller.

Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 27-Mar-2013
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