News Bulletin

January-February 2004


Bridget Robinson & Ann Chapman –

CD Focus website –

CD Focus discussion list –

The main thrust of activity over the last six weeks has been the organization of the Collection Description Focus Schema Forum, so this issue of the newsletter will concentrate on the Forum plus an update on the Cecilia project which was originally reported on in the September 2001 News Bulletin.


The CD Focus Schema Forum was held on Thursday 12th February 2004 at the CBI Conference Centre in London. The purpose of the day was to provide an opportunity for implementers and policy makers to review the progress that has been made in the creation of collection-level descriptions, including the different implementations of the RSLP CD schema, the proposed CD Application Profile (DC CD AP), emerging from the work of the Dublin Core Collection Description Working Group (DC CD WG) and in the light of these developments strategies for future. The day was chaired by Ronald Milne - the former Director of the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP).

The first presentation was from Michael Heaney (Oxford University Library Services) and described the analytical model of collections on which collection description work has been based. In 1999 Michael was commissioned by the RSLP to provide an abstract representation to model the types of collection that exist, the entities that are relevant to collections and the relations between them. His paper "An Analytical Model of Collections and their Catalogues" was translated into the RSLP schema as a tool for RSLP projects to collect, store and exchange data about collections. The RSLP schema uses most, but not all of the entities in the Heaney model.

The morning progressed from the theoretical model to look in more detail at exactly how the RSLP schema has been implemented by different projects. Ann Chapman and Bridget Robinson reviewed the types of changes implementers have made and their reasons for doing so, identified the differing requirements of users and collection managers, and considered where collection description work fits in with current and possible future national and international initiatives.

We were especially pleased to be able to include in the programme a presentation Pat Stevens - Chair of the Standards Development Committee of NISO. NISO is the National Information Standards Organization, a non-profit association accredited by the American National Standards Institute that identifies, develops, maintains, and publishes technical standards to manage information in our changing and ever-more digital environment. NISO standards apply both traditional and new technologies to the full range of information-related needs, including retrieval, re-purposing, storage, metadata, and preservation.

Finally Pete Johnston finished off the morning session with a detailed look at the proposed Dublin Core CD Application Profile and a challenge to the delegates to consider the implications of existence of the DC CD Application Profile and the RSLP schema. Will either one meet implementer requirements? Should there be more than one CLD metadata schema?

In the afternoon the delegates broke into three groups to discuss recommendations for the future. The main questions to address were:

All groups reported back. Andy Powell (UKOLN) summarised the discussion outcomes. The main points were as follows:

It was further suggested that JISC pursue discussions with IMLS (Institute of Museum Library Services - represented at the Forum by Tim Cole and Sarah Shreeves from University of Illinois Ubana Champaign) - regarding possible collaborative work.

The presentations and discussion notes are available at

Cecilia meets Cornucopia

Katharine Hogg, Project Manager, Cecilia

The Cecilia project to create an online searchable database of Music Collections in libraries, archives and museums throughout the UK has been funded by the British Library Cooperation and Partnership Programme and managed by the International Association of Music Libraries (UK and Ireland Branch). To date, a database of descriptions of 1,800 collections from 600 institutions has been assembled, based initially on a survey questionnaire issued to museums, archives, libraries, music conservatoires, churches, and specialist societies and other institutions.

A project website for Cecilia is available at In the first phase of development, a copy of the dataset has been hosted on the Performing Arts Data Service (PADS) website, where Cecilia descriptions are currently cross-searchable. PADS will subsequently be taking periodic copies of the data as it develops, providing an ongoing archiving function for the project.

Future sustainability

One of the key questions facing Cecilia is the ongoing sustainability of the project. The first phase of project funding came to an end in December 2003.

A second phase of Cecilia is now being developed, which will integrate descriptions of music collections into Cornucopia, the UK Collections Database at Both Cornucopia and Cecilia have been structured using the RSLP standard structure for collections-level descriptions ( They are therefore broadly interoperable, although they do differ in the use of terminology and in the interpretation of some elements of the structure.


The Cornucopia service, now entering its fourth year, provides cross-searchable collections-level descriptions for c.1800 registered museums in the UK. The next phase of development will see the inclusion of information from the library and archive domains to create a truly cross-domain online service. The new service will be launched early in 2004, containing full descriptions for all 9 English Regions, and will be integrated into a range of services including the '24/7' national offer for Public Libraries, the JISC Common Information Environment, the 24 Hour Museum and others.

A key part of the development of Cornucopia will be the integration of subject-specific or thematic datasets. Cecilia will be the first of these to be integrated into the service, with future projects including a planned concert programmes dataset and the FENSCORE natural sciences database.


Integrating Cecilia into Cornucopia offers a range of significant benefits:


The lead contact for the integration project will be Nick Poole, Regional Policy Adviser at Resource. Contact details as follows:

Nick Poole
Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries
16 Queen Anne's Gate

Tel: 020 7273 1410

The Cecilia/Cornucopia Integration Project is a collaborative project between Resource and IAML (UK and Ireland).

March/April CD Focus news Bulletin

Copy for the next news bulletin should be sent to by Friday 2nd April 2004

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