UKOLN and the Cultural Heritage Sector
UKOLN has a long history of engagement with the cultural heritage sector. It dates back to its launch in 1977 when the British Library became the original and sole funder of UKOLN (funding from JISC started in 1992). In UKOLN's early days our work focussed on library bibliographic data - in particular monitoring the accuracy and availability of catalogue records created by the British Library, and the development of Online Public Access Catalogues (OPACs).
From 1977 to 1996 UKOLN reported to the British Library Research and Development Department (BLRDD) and then, following changes at the British Library, to the British Library Research and Innovation Centre (BLRIC) from 1996 to 1999.
Those official links with the British Library changed in 1999, when the Library and Information Commission (LIC) became UKOLN's co-funder. Following changes in Government departments and in Government policies, the LIC and the Museums and Galleries Commission (MGC) were merged in 2000 to form Re:source, which was then renamed the MLA in 2004. The MLA (Museums, Libraries and Archives Council) was established to coordinate policies across the cultural heritage sector, including libraries, museums and archives.
UKOLN's core funding from the MLA officially finished on 31 March 2011. We have been pleased to have such a long-standing involvement with the cultural heritage sector over the past 34 years. But despite the announcement of the abolition of the MLA our engagement with the sector will continue including our involvement with the Strategic Content Alliance, the LOCAH Project, the W3C Library and Linked Data Incubator Group and our shared research interests with the British Library.
A review of UKOLN's involvement with the cultural heritage sector has been published on UKOLN's Cultural Heritage blog.