Collection Description Focus, Workshop 4


Collection-Level Description and Collection Management
Tool for the trade or information trade-off?

Friday 8 November 2002
University of Newcastle, Castle Leazes Halls of Residence

Introduction | Booking form | Venue | Programme | Programme details| Breakout sessions

Programme details

Contributors to the workshop include:

Bridget Robinson, Collection Description Focus, University of Bath

Bridget Robinson joined UKOLN in January 2000 to work on the Agora project. Agora was one of the five elib hybrid Library projects which began in January 1998. It formed part of Phase 3 of the elib programme investigating issues of digital library implementation and integration.

Collection Level Descriptions were used within the Agora interface as a way of matching users to resources. Agora used the collection schema drafted by the national working group and edited by UKOLN.Bridget has worked in both Public and HE libraries and with a range of Commercial Information Providers.

Bridget is now working as part of the Collection Description Focus

Presentations: [Powerpoint] | [HTML]

Ann Chapman, Bibliographic Management, UKOLN, University of Bath

Ann Chapman joined UKOLN in October 1989 as Research Officer for Bibliographic Management. Work in this area focuses on the quality, standards and formats of records for bibliographic materials in both current and retrospective cataloguing and on performance measurement of bibliographic databases.

In 1998-1999 she was a member of the team who produced the national strategy for retrospective conversion 'Full Disclosure' which identified the need for collection level descriptions. From 1999 she has been a member of the team working on the Reveal project to improve library and information services to visually impaired people. For this project she has recently been working on the development of the Reveal Collections Register which is based on the collection description schema.

Paul Andrews, Project Manager - Cecilia, IAML (UK & Irl)
Paul Andrews holds degrees in music, and library and information studies. Paul worked for over twenty years in public and academic music libraries, before becoming Project Manager of Cecilia in 2001. He first became aware of the difficulties in tracking down sources of music information while researching his own doctoral dissertation, and regards his present work as an attempt to spare others some of his own frustrations! Paul was editor of BRIO, journal of IAML(UK & Irl) from 1995-9.

Summary of Presentation: The presentation will include an outline description of Cecilia, its aims and objectives, and a brief history of the project. Points will include:

  • The development and definition of a 'Collection Level Description' for music materials
  • The scale and scope of the musical landscape to be mapped - the diversity of music materials in library, museum and archive collections
  • Crossing boundaries - the public/academic divide
  • Difficulties encountered in information gathering
  • Joining up the thinking - Cecilia/Encore/Ensemble/MLO/Concert Programmes

Presentations: [Powerpoint] | [HTML]

Heather Williamson, Crossroads Project:
Heather Williamson has been working in the library and information area for nine years, within both the commercial and public sectors. She worked in business information for a number of years, during which time she gained her degree in Library and Information Studies.
Heather joined The Libraries Partnership - West Midlands in 2000, to co- ordinate a West Midlands regional business and learning libraries project (INTER-ALL). Following the successful completion of this project, she is now responsible for managing the regional, cross-domain 'Crossroads' project ( The remit of the project is to develop a working model of an online database of collection level descriptions for museum, library and archive holdings. The principle aim of which is to help improve access to the resources available within these institutions for the general public at large. The product is being designed with accessibility and interoperability issues firmly in mind and will also enable online editing and updating (via a web-form) of all collection descriptions and associated information.

Nick Poole, ICT Adviser, Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries:
As ICT Adviser at Resource, the focus of Nick's work is on promoting awareness of current standards in digital services, including those for digital accessibility and preservation as well as copyright and interoperability. He is also website and email list manager for the Museums and Galleries Disability Association. Prior to taking up his current role, he worked as website manager for Resource and project manager for the Cornucopia online database of museum collections. Nick has also worked as a freelance web designer and programmer. He has published articles and papers on digital accessibility and presented to a wide range of museum, archive and library organisations.

Nick Poole's and Heather Williamson's Presentation: [Powerpoint] | [HTML]

Susan Baker, Find it in London, London Libraries Development Agency

Presentations: [Powerpoint] | [HTML]

Dr Richard Higgins, Assistant Librarian, Durham University Library Archives and Special Collections

Richard Higgins is currently working on the possibilities of joining up the University's Library, Archive and Museum catalogues and online information resources. He was previously involved in the Archives Hub, creating collection descriptions for the University's archival holdings, and retrospective conversion of finding aids.

Summary of Presentation: Collection descriptions have been used at Durham for about the last five years, during which they have evolved several times and have had a wide variety of external demands made upon them. Although the work has focussed on archival collections, printed material has sometimes been included, although one of the questions that arises is whether this works as well. The presentation looks at how the CLDs have responded to the various requirements that have been made of them (especially by projects) and how they have been of practical use within the repository. It concentrates on the CLD as a collection management tool and how it can be used to organise the processing and administering of a collection. Also raised is the question of what to do with the description locally, and the maintenance issues involved.

Presentations: [Powerpoint] | [HTML]

Introduction | Booking form | Venue | Programme | Programme details| Breakout sessions