Collection Description Focus

Mapping the Information Landscape:
A Showcase of Collection Description Projects and Services

Tuesday 25th March 2003
The British Library Conference Centre, St Pancras, London

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Introduction | Booking form | Programme | Venue | Programme details | Demonstrations


Alan Kucia, Senior Archives Services Manager and AIM25 Project Co-Ordinator, King's College London

AIM25 (Archives in London and the M25 Area) is a major project funded by the Research Support Libraries Programme. It provides networked access to over 5000 collection level descriptions covering the archives of fifty higher education institutions and learned societies within the greater London area.

The Archives Hub

Michelle Bell, Archives Hub User Support Officer, MIMAS, Manchester Computing

The Archives Hub is a national gateway providing free access to descriptions of archives and manuscript collections held in UK universities and colleges. The service covers archives in over 60 academic institutions and holds over 12,000 collection descriptions, many of which are available online for the first time. New collection descriptions are being added every week. The Archives Hub forms part of the emerging National Archives Network and covers a broad range of subject areas.


Gordon Dunsire, Research and Projects Manager, Napier University

SCONE, the Scottish Collections Network (, is an online collection descriptions service for Scotland. It contains some 2600 descriptions of library collections in all sectors. Collections can be searched by title, subject, and location. The service also includes demonstrators of searches by language of content and educational level, added as an outcome of the CC-interop project.

ITAM: MIMAS Collection Description

Leigh Morris, MIMAS

In line with the requirement of the JISC's `Information Environment' to provide sharable collection descriptions for MIMAS resources, MIMAS has developed a metadata application to provide collection description metadata for its resources, based on the Research Support Libraries Programme (RSLP) Collection Level Description (CLD) Schema.

Collections Navigator - Access to the Collections of The Natural History Museum

Rachel Perkins, AMA Collection Level Description Officer, The Natural History Museum

A series of electronic collection level descriptions records provide narrative information about the individual collections within the Museum. The Museum's collections include a cross domain range of specimens, artwork, manuscripts, datasets, exhibits, archive and library collections.

Our approach is somewhat experimental by using EAD (Encoded Archival Description) to encode the data in XML. The encoded data is then indexed using Cheshire II and displayed using an XSLT stylesheet.

Cecilia: mapping the music resource of the UK and Ireland

Paul Andrews, Project Manager, Cecilia

The archives, libraries and museums of the UK and Ireland are treasure houses of materials and resources covering every aspect of music from the esoteric to the popular. Cecilia provides a high-level guide to these collections, mapping the musical landscape by means of searchable collection-level descriptions.

Reveal - The National Database of Resources in Accessible Formats

Ann Chapman, Bibliographic Management and Collection Description Focus, UKOLN, University of Bath

Reveal is part of an initiative to improve library and information services for visually impaired people. The Collections Register has been designed to hold details of all producers and holders of materials in accessible formats in the UK (around 230 currently identified, including voluntary organisations, schools, prison workshops, banks and utility services).

The Science & Culture website

Ann Borda, Head of Collections Multimedia, Science Museum

The Science & Culture website is a New Opportunities Fund project. The website endeavours to make connections between people, innovations and ideas. It contains images and other resources illustrating human endeavour and development from the Science Museum, National Railway Museum and National Museum of Photography, Film & Television. The site contains a series of collection level descriptions which provide information about the different resource levels of the site from themes, subjects to content -rich topics. The RSLP collection level description schema and Dublin Core to encode resources in XML has been used.


Heather Williamson, Crossroads & ICT Development Manager, The Libraries Partnership

West Midlands Crossroads is working across library, museum and archive domains to develop a unique access route to the collections held in the West Midlands. The project (started in September 2001) aimed to investigate and create a working model for a cross-domain, web-enabled database of collection level descriptions for all types of museums, archives and libraries in the region. Its main purpose was to create a model database architecture to help improve access to the collections and resources across in the West Midlands. The project is funded by Resource (The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries), and the project partners are the West Midlands Regional Museums Council, the West Midlands Regional Archive Council, with the lead partner being The Libraries Partnership West Midlands.

Pete Dowdell, Technical Advisor and Systems Developer, UKOLN, University of Bath, is the gateway to the lottery-funded collections of 150 sites developed through funding from the New Opportunities Fund NOF-digi programme. The content ranges across culture, history, social and economic development, science and art as well as offering regional and national 'sense of place' websites from England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Collection Level Description Online Tutorial

Ann Chapman and Bridget Robinson, Collection Description Focus, UKOLN, University of Bath

The Collection Description Focus Team is working on the development of an Online Tutorial that will take implementors through the process of collection description creation. The prototype Tutorial will be available at the Showcase event for comment and feedback


Introduction | Booking form | Programme | Venue | Programme details | Demonstrations