Reveal Launch, September 2003

REVEAL: The national database of resources in accessible formats

What is Reveal?

The Reveal web site, launched on 16 September 2003, brings together information about services and resources for visually impaired people from organisations across the United Kingdom. reveal is an information resource where you will be able to find books in Braille and Moon, audio books and digital talking books, tactile diagrams and other accessible format materials, find out who produces, loans or sells accessible materials, and find information about the different accessible materials.

The Catalogue of Resources

The Reveal Catalogue of Resources is held on a Geac Advance system, using the Reveal bibliographic standard, which was developed from the MARC 21 bibliographic standard by UKOLN. The database is Z39.50 compatible and can therefore be searched by other web-based services using Z39.50.

A bibliographic record is held for each standard print title for which there are accessible format versions. The bibliographic record includes a brief summary of the content of the work. Titles include fiction, non-fiction and poetry for both adults and children, educational materials and music scores. Attached to the bibliographic record are one or more transcription records. For example, a specific title might have versions in Braille grade 1, Braille grade 2, audio cassette 2 track, talking book 8 track and an electronic braille file.

The Suppliers Register

The Reveal Suppliers Register uses the Reveal collection description schema, which was developed from the RSLP collection descsription schema by UKOLN The software development of the database was carried out by Samsara Research.

The register holds details about organisations, and some individuals, that produce, lend or sell accessible materials. There is a brief description of the service and types of material available, together with details of who can use the service, any charges made and contact details.

The history of Reveal

Work on Reveal began in 1999 with the UKOLN review of the National Union Catalogue of Alternative Formats (NUCAF), which concluded that the resource should be upgraded to a web-based resource to enable the widest access by visually impaired people and their internmediaries and made recommedations for achieving this. A fesaibility study was carried out in 2000, followed by the development of the bibliographic standard by UKOLN and a technical specification by Juliet Leeves. The contract for the union catalogue was awarded to Geac in October 2002. The first test migration of the data from NUCAF took place in February 2003 with the final migration of data in September 2003. During 2001-2002, UKOLN, with Samsara Research, also worked on the development of a collection-level description database (the Suppliers Register). Finding and entering data about collections and holding organisations began in July 2003; the majority of entries will be completed mid-October 2003.

Funding and Support

Reveal development has been funded by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, Resource: the Council of Museums, Libraries and Archives, the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme, the Lloyds TSB Foundation, the Ellerman Foundation, the National Library for the Blind and the Royal National Institute of the Blind, and received additional support from Share the Vision and UKOLN.

Further developments

Work is ongoing to include the holdings of organisations currently not part of Reveal. There will be some enhancement of bibliographic records, for example the addition of Library of Congress Subject Headings.

The ability to link to other databases and search them at the same time as Reveal, and for them to search Reveal at the same time as their own databases will be implemented this year.

A system and procedures for inter-library-loan requests is being developed.

Management of Reveal

Reveal is jointly managed by staff from NLB and RNIB who form a Joint Mangement Group, which also includes a representative from Resource. A Reveal manager, reporting directly to the Joint Management Group, has been appointed and will be in post at the beginning of October.

A Reveal Policy Advisory group was established in the summer of 2003 and will be responsible for the future direction of Reveal.

[Bibliographic Management]

Content by: Ann Chapman of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 03-Jun-2005
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