Collection Description Focus, Briefing Day 2UKOLN

Realising the potential of collection-level description

Practitioners and policy makers share experiences

Tuesday 14 May 2002
British Library, St. Pancras, London

Programme details

Contributors to the workshop include:

  • Liz Lyon:

    Dr Liz Lyon has been the Director of UKOLN based at the University of Bath, since October 2000. Previously, she was Head of Research & Learning Support Systems in Information Services at the University of Surrey, where she was founding Director of the Centre for Learning Developments and was also responsible for Library IT systems, audio-visual services and administration.

    She has led the piloting and implementation of a virtual learning environment at Surrey, the completion of a campus-wide skills development project and has directed research projects in diverse areas such as multimedia digital libraries (PATRON Performing Arts Teaching Resources ONline), devolved budgeting, smart cards, and distance learning support.

    One of her personal interests is human resources and staff development, and she has successfully introduced, developed and promoted comprehensive Human Resource Frameworks over the last four years.

    Although Dr Lyon has worked in various University libraries in the UK, her background was originally in Biological Sciences and she has a doctorate in cellular biochemistry.

  • Clive Field:
    Collection description in context

    Dr Clive Field has been Director of Scholarship and Collections at The British Library since 1 August 2001, with responsibility for the development and management of all the Library's information resources in all formats (extending to some 150 million collection items) and for their scholarly exploitation. Prior to this, he spent twenty-four years in higher education librarianship, at the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham, latterly (1995-2001) as Birmingham's Librarian and Director of Information Services. He is involved with a wide range of national library and information bodies and initiatives, including the Full Disclosure Implementation Group, of which he has been a member since 1999 and chair since 2001. He is a practising historian, and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and thus an active user of library and archive collections.

    This presentation will set the briefing day in context by considering the importance of collection description from two perspectives: emerging priorities from Full Disclosure and resource discovery for the British Library's own collections.

  • Pete Johnston & Bridget Robinson:
    [title to be confirmed]

    Pete Johnston joined UKOLN in January 2001 as Research Officer to support the work of the Interoperability Focus, and is also contributing to the work of the Collection Description Focus.

    From 1997 to 2000, he was a member of a digital records management project based at Glasgow University Archive Services and also supported the EAD-based collection-level description work which was carried out by the archivists at Glasgow as data providers to the HE Archives Hub.

    Pete has experience in the area of markup technologies, and his work at UKOLN involves him in various metadata-related activities.

    Bridget Robinson, Research Officer, joined UKOLN in January 2000 to work on the Agora project. Agora was one of the five elib hybrid Library projects which began in January 1998. It formed part of Phase 3 of the elib programme investigating issues of digital library implementation and integration.

    Collection Level Descriptions were used within the Agora interface as a way of matching users to resources. Agora used the collection schema drafted by the national working group and edited by UKOLN.Bridget has worked in both Public and HE libraries and with a range of Commercial Information Providers.

    Bridget is now working as part of the Collection Description Focus.

  • Peter Winsor:
    Collection description and museums : the Cornucopia project

    [Details to follow]

  • Catherine Grout & Rachel Bruce:
    Moving towards a collection description service for the UK

    Catherine Grout is Programme Director for the Information Environment/Digital Libraries development area within the JISC Executive. ( Her role centres on developing a national information environment for use by staff and students in further and higher education, and she is responsible for directing current and future development programmes in this area. ( She has also worked for the JISC as Collections Manager for Multimedia which involved negotiating access for the educational community to high quality multimedia collections. As part of this role she also developed a framework for delivering and managing access to digital images for education, JDIS (JISC Distributed Image Service). She has considerable experience in digitisation and the applications of educational technology. More specifically she has expertise in the provision of digital resources in the visual arts and she worked as manager of the Visual Arts Data Service between 1997 and 2000, ( Her academic background is in history and art history.

    Rachel Bruce is a Programme Manager for the Information Environment/Digital Libraries development area within the JISC Executive. ( Her role centres on developing a national information environment for use by staff and students in further and higher education, and she is responsible for managing the following development programmes: shared services; infrastructure and digital libraries. She is also involved in the Archives Hub Service development and the Content Delivery Infrastructure Pilot. ( She has also worked for the JISC as a co-coordinator of the Specialised Research Collections in the Humanities Follett Programme. This primarily involved the development of archival standards and networks. Her academic background is in politics and information science.

  • Ross Macintyre:
    The Famous Five: Worked examples from MIMAS

    Ross MacIntyre currently works within MIMAS at the University of Manchester where he is the Service Manager for the ‘ISI Web of Science Service for UK Education’ and ‘zetoc’, developed in collaboration with the British Library. He is responsible for digital library research including the provision of R&D services to publishers. He is also responsible for the technical development work associated with both the National Electronic Site Licence Initiative (NESLI), in collaboration with SwetsBlackwell and the JSTOR mirror service at MIMAS. Until 1999 he was Technical Project Manager for the eLib SuperJournal research project. Ross has been an elected member of the UK Serials Group committee since April 2000 and is a member of the PALS working group on usage statistics.

  • Dennis Nicholson & Gordon Dunsire:
    [title to be confirmed]

    Dennis Nicholson is Director of Research in the Information Resources Directorate at Strathclyde University and was previously Head of Library Systems at Strathclyde. Since 1991, he has managed a range of funded research projects and initiatives, either directly or in his role as Director of the Centre for Digital Library Research at Strathclyde. These include:

    • HILT, High Level Thesaurus Project (2000-)
    • SCONE, Scottish Collections Network Extension Project (1999-)
    • CAIRNS, Co-operative Academic Information Retrieval Network for Scotland (1998-2000)
    • Viscont NOF Digitisation Project (2001-)
    • SAPIENS Electronic Journals Project (2001-)
    • The BUBL Information Service (1991-)

    Gordon Dunsire is Research and Projects Manager for Napier University Learning Information Services. He has extensive experience in metadata engineering (formerly known as cataloguing), systems librarianship, and database programming. He is currently seconded to the Centre for Digital Library Research on a part-time basis to work on several of its projects and services, and has a particular interest in developing collection level descriptions for use in real-world systems. He was the Technical Officer for the CAIRNS clump project, and is currently a member of the SCONE project steering group as well as being technical consultant for the CAIRNS and SCONE services.

  • Ann Chapman:
    Reveal: Uncovering collections for the visually impaired community

    Ann Chapman has been Research Officer for Bibliographic Management at UKOLN since 1989. Prior to this she worked for the Library at the University of Bath, initially responsible for reader services (including the design and implementation of their first circulation system) and later moving into cataloguing, including work on special collections.

    Her work covers the quality, standards and format of bibliographic records for all types of materials in both current and retrospective cataloguing, and the performance measurement of bibliographic databases. She has worked on the Full Disclosure retrospective conversion strategy, a joint study with LISU on acquisitions trends, and the MARC Harmonisation Consultation report, and carries out the BNB Currency Survey. She is a member of the BIC Bibliographic Standards Technical Sub-group, and the Dublin Core Library Application Profile Working Party.

    Since 1999, Ann has worked on the Reveal project, which is part of a DCMS funded programme to improve library and information services to visually impaired people. Her work on Reveal includes reviewing the existing union catalogue NUCAF (National Union Catalogue of Alternative Formats), drawing up the strategy to upgrade this to a more accessible web-based resource, defining the bibliographic standard for Reveal union catalogue records, producing guidance on the application of genre indexing for fiction items, and work on the collection register.

  • Richard Ovenden:
    OCLC's iCAS service as a tool for Collection Managers

    Richard Ovenden previously worked in Durham University Library, the House of Lords Library, and the National Library of Scotland. He is at present in the University of Edinburgh, where he is responsible for Collection Management within the Library, for Special Collections and Archives, and for the University Museums and Art Gallery

    OCLC's iCAS software was recently evaluated in a pilot by a number of libraries, including EUL. The software has considerable value, but there are also considerable caveats which need to be understood in order to derive valuable results from the exercise.

  • Ronald Milne:
    Whither collection description?

    Ronald Milne has been Director of the Research Support Libraries Programme since October 1998. Responsible for an initiative which promotes collaborative, cross-sectoral, work, he has had an appreciation of what can be achieved by library co-operation since the earliest stages of his career. He was previously Assistant Director of Library Services at King’s College London and has also held posts at Trinity College Library, Cambridge, Glasgow University Library and on the staff of the University of London Library Resources Co-ordinating Committee. Ronald was a member of the British Library/Higher Education Task Force. He contributes to professional publications and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.