News Bulletin

November-December 2003


Bridget Robinson & Ann Chapman -

CD Focus website -

CD Focus discussion list -

Welcome to the last CD Focus New Bulletin of the year.


There are two new publications available from CD Focus.

The first is a Briefing paper "The RSLP Collection Description Schema" written by Pete Johnston. This is available at

The second is a Case Study, which looks at the development of the Reveal Collections Register (as featured in the September/October issue of the CD Focus News Bulletin). The Case Study is available at

Both publications are also available in printed form. You can request copies by emailing

Taking the RSLP Schema Forward

The Dublin Core Collection Description Working Group (DC CD WG) met on Wednesday 1st October at DC-2003 in Seattle, co-chaired by Pete Johnston and Andy Powell of UKOLN. The group discussed the proposed Collection Description Application Profile (CD AP). A new version of the CD AP, updated in line with the decisions made at the Working Group Meeting can be found at:

Additional discussion and details of the ongoing work of the group can be found at


Schema Forum

As a follow up to the work of the DC CD WG, CD Focus will be running a Schema Forum. It will be held at the CBI Conference Centre, Centre Point, London on Thursday 12th February 2004. The aim of the day will be :

The day will be a combination of presentations in the morning and discussion groups in the afternoon. The discussion groups will be looking at both strategic and implementation issues. It is hoped that the format will encourage full participation and sharing of experience and that there will be concrete outcomes, which will help to influence future work. The event is by invitation only. If you would like further details please contact

CPI Seminar

The CD Focus Team were invited to give a presentation at the CPI Seminar - Joined-Up Resources: Local Studies Through Libraries, Archives and Museums. CPI (Capital Planning Information) are a division of Instant Library Ltd.

The seminar took place on 25th November, at the George Hotel Business Centre, Stamford, Lincolnshire. The context for the seminar was the trend for moving from discrete local studies (or local history) departments to broader local studies services that involve greater collaboration between public libraries, archives and museums. The aim was to examine the emerging issues, questions and solutions.

The day began with a keynote presentation from Nick Kingsley (County and Diocesan Archivist, Gloucestershire County Council) on the future of local history libraries/local studies services.

David Mander (Head of Archives, London Borough of Hackney) offered an archivist's perspective on local studies service delivery and the reasons for closer service delivery between archives and local studies services where both have a geographical remit.

Stuart Bligh (Manager of the Centre for Kentish Studies) discussed the seminar themes from a libraries perspective, drawing particularly on his experience in Bexley and Kent.

The seminar was very interesting and stimulated some useful discussion around the issues of cross-domain working.

All the presentations will be available on the CPI webite at

Cornucopia News

We are pleased to be able to include a contribution from Nick Poole, Regional Policy Adviser, Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries.

Cornucopia becomes a National Collections Level Description Service - Cornucopia, the UK database of museum Collections-Level Descriptions is soon to be relaunched as a National CLD service. In addition to providing online access to descriptions of the collections of over 1800 Registered museums, the new service will offer a range of additional features and benefits to the user.

These include faster, more efficient searching and the ability to 'collect' CLDs, print them, save them or email them to a friend or colleague. Users both professional and public will be encouraged to use the descriptions for research, to plan a visit, or simply to find out more about the enormous richness and diversity of our cultural heritage.

Behind this new service is a powerful platform based on Open Source technologies. In addition to a full Content Management and database administration System, the new technology allows museum, library and archive professionals to log in and update the information for their organisation, whenever they want and from wherever they want.

All of the information from the existing Cornucopia has been imported into the new system, and a team of consultants are currently working hard to fill the gaps. Partnerships have also been established with a number of related projects. Information about music collections, for example, will be greatly enhanced by the inclusion of the data gathered for the Cecilia project database.

Once the service has been launched with full information for UK Registered museums, the next phase of development will be to investigate extending Cornucopia to cover the holdings of archives and Special Library collections. Because it is based on the system developed for the cross-domain 'Crossroads' project in the West Midlands, the new system is remarkably portable between the domains. The structure of the information is derived from the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) structure (see for further information), and has already been tested with data from a range of different sources.

However, establishing a structure for the information is only one part of delivering a full cross-domain service. As Peter Brophy acknowledged in his article in the last CD Focus news bulletin, the standardisation of terminologies, even within single domains remains a daunting challenge. As one of the key projects implementing Collections-Level Descriptions in the UK, Cornucopia has a significant contribution to make here. It is only by testing approaches with real data that we can begin to develop workable solutions.

The long-term aim of Cornucopia is not to act as a standalone website, although there is certainly an audience for this. Instead, it will be integrated as far as possible into a whole range of other resources and resource-discovery systems. Already, Cornucopia information has been delivered through the Common Information Environment demonstrator project. Data from the system can now be harvested using the Open Archives Initiative (OAI) protocol, encouraging reuse in an array of different contexts. Cornucopia already cross-refers with the 24 Hour Museum and this relationship will be enhanced over the coming year to ensure an integrated and effective approach to the delivery of information to users.

Look out for further news about the launch of this exciting new service in the New Year!

January/February CD Focus News Bulletin

Copy for the next news bulletin should be sent to by Friday January 23rd 2004

Content by: Bridget Robinson of UKOLN.
Page last revised on: 06-Jul-2004
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