UKOLN Collection Description Focus

News Bulletin - July/August 2002

Pete Johnston and Bridget Robinson -

CD Focus website -

CD Focus discussion list -

Welcome to the July/August edition of the CD Focus news bulletin.

The Focus came to the end of the initial 12 month funding period on 31st May. It has been a busy year encompassing a range of activities including visits and events, ongoing dissemination and advice, all of which have been reported on in previous news bulletins. The Focus is delighted to announce that it is being funded for a further 14 months from 1st June 2002 - 31st July 2003. The funding is being provided by the British Library, the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP), the JISC and Resource.


Collection Description Focus, Briefing day "Realising the potential of collection-level description : Practitioners and policy makers share experiences" was held at the British Library on Tuesday 14 May 2002. The speakers were drawn from a range of different experiences and institutions offering a cross-domain perspective and incorporating the varied work of both practitioners and policy makers.

The day started with an introduction from Clive Field - Chair of the Full Disclosure Implementation Group and Director of Scholarship & Collections at the British Library. He looked at collections within the context of the Full Disclosure Programme and also within the British Library Resource Management and Resource Discovery context. He raised some interesting issues that helped to stimulate discussion later in the programme.including the ongoing diversity of approaches towards Collection Description, the lack of consensus about the attributes which define a collection and the need for some kind of positive "buy-in" both from scholars and information professionals.(

The morning continued with presentations from Pete Johnston from CD Focus, Peter Winsor from Resource and Rachel Bruce Programme Manager(Information Environment/Digital Libraries) JISC/DNER ( .Ross McIntyre from MIMAS provided an insight into the practicalities of collection description with a look at his "Famous Five: worked examples from MIMAS" ( Gordon Dunsire from Napier University finished off the morning's presentations with an examination of some of the issues that need to be considered when creating a collection description service with special reference to the experiences of the SCONE project (

The afternoon opened with a presentation by Ann Chapman from UKOLN outlining the work of the Reveal Project which is: "Uncovering collections for the visually impaired community". This was followed by a presentation from Richard Ovendun - Collection Manager at Edinburgh University about his experience of using OCLC's iCAS service as a tool for collection managers. The day was concluded by Ronald Milne, Programme Director of the RSLP.(

There were 2 discussion periods where delegates were invited to question the speakers or simply to raise issues of interest or concern. It was a very successful day offering plenty of opportunity for networking between projects, practitioners and policy makers Museums, Libraries & Archives were all well represented. The presentations are available at

RSLP Open Day

Bridget Robinson attended the RSLP open day on 14th June at the Business Design Centre, Islington. The purpose of the day was to disseminate general information about the Research Support Libraries Programme, report on outcomes, provide a showcase for all RSLP projects and inform the community about emerging policy in this area. It was a very successful day.


Deidre Wildy & Clare Mc Veigh from the RASCAL project ( contributed an article to the latest issue of Ariadne - entitled "Collection Description In Focus - a report on the Collection Description Focus Workshops Nov 2001 - March 2002." (


As the Focus has become better known it is increasingly being asked to contribute to events and conferences.

Below is a list of the more recent ones.

*Society of Archivists EAD and Data Exchange Group AGM - London, May 2002

*British Computer Society/Electronic Publishing Specialist Group One-day conference on Metadata - London, May 2002

*JISC/NSF Digital Libraries Initiative (DLI) All Projects Meeting - Edinburgh, June 2002

JISC Service Providers Workshop on Collection/Service Description - London, July 2002

*Minerva Project - WP3/4 Meeting - Paris, July 2002

All the presentations are available on the CD Focus website

Future events include the OCLC/SCURL seminar "New directions in metadata" Edinburgh, August 2002

mda Conference

The CD Focus will be running a pre-conference workshop for the mda on Tuesday 3rd September in conjunction with Nick Poole from Resource. This workshop will introduce the idea of collection-level description, describe some standard schemas for CLD, explore some practical examples of CLD in museums, and examine what value such an approach might have for museums. The conference is being held in Birmingham from September 4th-6th, at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens conference suite. Further details are available at

September news bulletin

The September news bulletin will include details of future plans and events for the next 12 month. Contributions to the news bulletin are always welcome and should be sent to