In 1999, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport made a grant of £200,000, to be administered by the Library and Information Commission, to improve library and information services for visually impaired people.
The Library and Information Commission and Share the Vision drew up a programme of key projects to deliver the objectives of the grant funding. Each project deals with a specific area where improvements to service can be made.
As part of the programme, UKOLN was commissioned to undertake a study to review the role of a national union database of resources in accessible formats and to make a technical specification of the data elements required. It was recommended that the existing database should be made completely accessible and comprehensive, and that it should be relaunched on the web at Reveal.
The study took place between September and December 1999. A report was submitted to the Steering Committee in January 2000 and the recommendations accepted. The full text of the report and an accompanying briefing paper are available in Word7 and pdf formats.
A feasibility study was carried out to develop a managment structure, business plan and technical system specification for the Reveal database. UKOLN was one of the partners for the study, working with the National Library for the Blind, the Royal National Institute for the Blind and an independent library automation consultant. 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 text of the report and an accompanying study evaluation are available in Word7 format (pdf versions will also be made available shortly).
Further development work has continued with a full specification of the bibliographic standard and a technical specification for the system. A Joint Management Group, with representatives of NLB, RNIB and resource was set up in the autumn of 2003 and Geac were contracted to supply the system. The database structure is in place and test downloads of data were made during the spring and early summer of 2003. Data was then merged, cleaned and enhanced ready for the launch of the first stage of Reveal on 16 September 2003. In 2005 Revealweb was praised in a House of Commons Select Committee Report and commended in the Jodi Mattes Awards.
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.
UKOLN staff who worked on Reveal and Revealweb were: Ann Chapman and Richard Waller.
An archive version of this page is available on the Internet Archive. On 13 March 2013 http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/bib-man/projects/stv/ had been crawled 36 times going back to 9 March 2001.