UKOLN Collection Description Focus

News Bulletin - January 2002

Pete Johnston & Bridget Robinson -

CD Focus website -

CD Focus discussion list -

Welcome to the January issue of the CD Focus news bulletin.


The second CD Focus workshop "Multi-purpose metadata for collections: creating reusable CLDs" will be held on 8th February 2002 at Aston Business School. It will highlight and explore some of the challenges involved in reusing collection descriptions and try to establish a consensus, which will help to minimise some of the difficulties.

The full workshop programme is available at:

Please note the Birmingham workshop is now full.

The third workshop will take place on Thursday 21st March 2002 at the Wolfson Suite, University of Edinburgh Library. The workshop is entitled :- "Raising standards for collection description: Subjects and strength in CLDs". The programme will concentrate on the issue of content standards and terminological control for collection-level description, with a particular emphasis on the use of subject terminologies and thesauri. It will also explore the use and applicability of collection strength indicators.

The day will be introduced by Ronald Milne, RSLP Programme Director.

The full workshop programme and booking form are available at:

Briefing Day

The second CD Focus Briefing Day will be held at the British Library on Tuesday 14th May 2002. The full programme is still being finalised but will include contributions from :


The first CD Focus Briefing Paper entitled "Collections and Collection Description" is now available. A printed version can be requested by emailing: The paper is available in PDF form at

Additional Briefing Papers are planned for the coming months.

The Focus has contributed an "information paper" on collection-level description for the nof-digitise Technical Advisory Service and will be participating in the nof-digitise workshop programme.

The Focus was also featured in the December issue of DNER Collections Update - a regular e-mail newsletter designed to inform those responsible for managing local and institutional collections about DNER Collections activities and developments.


Full Disclosure

Bridget Robinson attended the Full Disclosure: "Priorities for action" Conference at the British Library on 28th January 2002. The aim of the day was to share the findings of the study that was undertaken by the Cultural Heritage Consortium on behalf of the Full Disclosure Implementation Group, (with support from the British Library Co-operation and Partnership Programme, CURL, LINC, Re:source and RSLP). The study was undertaken to assess priorities for the retrospective conversion of catalogues, finding aids and documentation data, and the retrospective conversion of non-current acquisitions, in libraries, archives and museums in the United Kingdom. The CD Focus was approached as part of the consultation process.

The study report highlights the importance of collection description as an essential "first step" in identifying priorities. It specifically mentions the "impact and value" of collection-level description projects such as the RSLP funded RASCAL project (Research and special Collections available locally in Northern Ireland), and the regional and cross-domain mapping exercises in the West Midlands (Futures Together).

The aim of the event was not only to present the draft report, but also to stimulate debate and comment on the report and surrounding issues, and on the recommendations and plans for implementation.

It will be interesting to see how the recommendations are taken forward.


The CD Focus continues to provide support to the Crossroads project. The project is currently in the process of surveying memory institutions in the West Midlands for details of their collections. These collections will eventually be available from a web-enabled database, which will be searchable using keywords and themes, place names and people, and organization names. The field structure within the database will be based on the RSLP Collection Description Schema.

Heather Williamson, the Crossroads Project Officer, will be speaking at the CD Focus workshop in Birmingham. Further details about the Crossroads project can be found at:

South West Museums Council

David Hill, Collections Development Director from the South West Museums Council, visited the CD Focus in January. He has been involved in the Museum Mapping programme, which is in the process of building a comprehensive source of information about museums and galleries in the South West. The Mapping 2000 survey looks at Access and Collection Care, but has also introduced measurements of the Collection Significance and Quality.

David has expressed an interest in the RSLP CD schema and how it might map on to the survey data.

David will be speaking at the Birmingham workshop.

Further details about the Mapping project can be found at:

February news bulletin

The next news bulletin will include a report on the second CD Focus workshop. All contributions should be sent to by Friday 22nd February.