eLib Evaluation
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eLib Programme Standards Documents
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JISC/PA Model License
Programme Background

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eLib: The Electronic Libraries Programme 1995-2001

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About this Web Site

This Web site provided the central platform for the JISC-funded eLib programme. A background to the eLib programme is given below.

Following the successful completion of the programme, this Web site was frozen - no significant content was added and only minor updates were made.

eLib news and updates

  • 18 October 2001
    Stephen Pinfield has contributed a review paper to Ariadne issue 29: Managing electronic library services: current issues in UK higher education institutions. The issue also contains an article by John Kirriemuir on: Establishing a Digital Library Centre He outlines some of the issues that need to be considered when establishing a digital library centre in a UK higher education institution.
  • 02 August 2001
    Summative Evaluation of Phase 3 of the eLib Initiative: an Overview document, and the Final Report. Available in PDF format.

    The evaluation was carried out by ESYS limited, a consultancy company with experience of undertaking and evaluating technology applications programmes in a number of fields, particularly space and defence. This evaluation therefore takes an independent view of the programme from outside the HE library sector.' (mounted 02 August 2001).
  • 07 March 2001
    Stephen Pinfield has contributed a review paper to the eLib Programme pages: Lessons from Phase 3 of the Electronic Libraries Programme. The paper is available in 3 formats.
  • 04 Feb 2001
    A retrospective overview of the eLib Programme - 'After eLib', (Chris Rusbridge) is available in issue 26 of Ariadne. The issue also features several articles on Hybrid Library projects, and a review of the Hybrid Libraries day in the British Library in November 2000. The WebWatch column looks at eLib project sites, and there is also a CLUMP review. The Digital Preservation 2000 Conference in York is featured in a report by Michael Day.
  • 06 July 2000
    Details of the Electronic Libraries Programme Collection Level Description Concertation Day, held on 7th March 2000, ULCC. Available in HTML and PDF format.
    . [mounted 06 June 2000].
  • 01 June 2000
    Summative Evaluation of Phases 1 and 2 of the eLib Initiative: an Overview document, and the Final Report. Available in PDF format.

    'The report examines the operation and management of the Programme, achievements in the Programme areas, overall impacts and value and finally makes recommendations for future activities based on the lessons learned. A summary document which cross-references the main report is also available. The evaluation was carried out by ESYS limited, a consultancy company with experience of undertaking and evaluating technology applications programmes in a number of fields, particularly space and defence. This evaluation therefore takes an independent view of the programme from outside the HE library sector.' [mounted 01 June 2000].
  • 05 April 2000
    JISC/NPO Study: The Digital Culture: Maximising the Nation's Investment. A synthesis of JISC/NPO studies on the preservation of digital materials. Available in PDF format. [mounted 05 April 2000].
  • 03 April 2000
    A number of CLUMPS-related articles appear in issue 23 of Ariadne. Matthew Dovey, technical consultant to the Music Libraries Online project, provides a theoretical overview of union catalogue construction. The issue also features an illustrated At The Event Ariadne report on the first of the two CLUMPS conferences this spring. Plus Peter Stubley of the RIDING project supplies the text of his closing remarks at the same event (Goldsmiths College, 3rd March). A number of other eLib related reports appear in the same issue.
  • 25 January 2000
    Two important new CLUMPS articles By Dennis Nicholson and Peter Stubley have been published in Ariadne issue 22. The issue also features a report by Alistair Dunning on the launch in London of the RDN. There are several other JISC/eLib related articles and reports in the same issue.
  • 25 January 2000
    A report (plus powerpoint presentations, including one by Chris Rusbridge) from the JISC Town Meeting held in London on 16th December 1999 is available at: The meeting was organised to further discuss approaches to the Distributed National Electronic Resource. Plus an outline of Tom Franklin's presentation from the meeting (on the JCIEL Circular 7/99 - Managed Learning Environments).
  • 06 January 2000
    Library Resource Sharing and Discovery: Catalogues for the 21st Century: details now available of a one day workshop (in two locations) on the 3rd of March 2000 (London) and the 11th April 2000 (Glasgow) presented by the eLib CLUMP projects and co-ordinated by UKOLN.
  • 04 January 2000
    MODELS 11: UKOLN/mda Terminology Workshop The Stakis Hotel, Bath 11-12 January 2000
  • Nov 15 1999
    Digital Archaeology: Rescuing Neglected and Damaged Data Resources, by Seamus Ross and Ann Gow. The Executive Summary is available: [PDF format] and the Full Study: [PDF format].
  • Nov 8 1999
    Economic Models for the Digital Library (Leah Halliday and Charles Oppenheim) is now available in both PDF and RTF formats. At:
  • Oct 11 1999
    The Synthesis of eLib Annual Reports for 1998 and the Synthesis of eLib Annual Reports for 1997, are now available in PDF format.
  • Oct 7 1999
    Models Workshop 9: MIA for Hybrid Information Environments, supported by the eLib Programme Office and held at Scarman House Traning and Conference Centre, University of Warwick, Wednesday 13th - Thursday 14th October 1999. Models Workshop 10 is on the subject of Rights Management
  • Sept 7 1999
    The MIDRIB project Final Report is now mounted on the eLib site.
  • Sept 2 1999
    Two Tavistock Institute annual reports made available: the Synthesis of eLib Annual Reports for 1998 and the Synthesis of eLib Annual Reports for 1997.
  • July 26 1999
    A presentation given by the UK IMS centre at the eLib organised IMS concertation day, held at the Policy Studies Institute in London on the 4th of May, is available as a Microsoft Powerpoint file and also in HTML format.
  • July 9 1999
    Ariadne Issue 20 (22nd June 1999) features a number of eLib related articles and reports (CLUMPS, EEVL, SOSIG, biz/ed, etc), including one by John Kirriemuir (OMNI column) on the provision of Internet access within the UK National Health Service, which has been reviewed in the British Medical Journal by Douglas Carnall. Responses to the review are also available.
  • July 9 1999
    New Guidelines for eLib Project Reports have been mounted.
  • May 4 1999
    The text of Jim Michalko's keynote address has been added to the "Information Ecologies" Report.
  • April 12 1999
    A Report on the eLib "Information Ecologies" conference in York containing most of the presentations in Powerpoint format.
  • March 23 1999
    An Ariadne "At the Event" report on the eLib "Information Ecologies" conference in York can be found in Ariadne 19.
  • February 5 1999
    Library Resource Sharing and Discovery: Catalogues for the Future. A one-day workshop presented by the eLib Clump Projects on the 22nd March 1999, at: The British Library, St. Pancras, London. The conference is being organised by the Electronic Libraries Programme and co-ordinated by UKOLN.
  • January 21 1999
    Joint Information Systems Committee & Publishers Association 'Model Licence' Between UK Universities and Publishers. This is the final version of the 'Model License', together with guidelines for fairdealing.
  • January 21 1999
    Publication of information about the metadata now associated with the eLib pages. As of December 1998 all eLib Web Pages contain embedded Dublin Core metadata, stored in a ROADS database and dynamically converted to an XML representation of RDF (Resource Description Framework) as the pages are requested. Since the metadata is embedded in the eLib web pages it can be seem by viewing the HTML source for a page. The metadata is in XML/RDF format for machine readability. A human viewable rendering of the metadata on each page is available by clicking on the "DC Metadata" link in the page footer.
  • November 24 1998
    An electronic version of the JISC/TLTP Copyright Guidelines, available in PDF format.
  • November 13 1998
    An electronic version of the eLib Supporting study "An Investigation into the Digital Preservation needs of Universities and Research Funders" by Denise Lievesley and Simon Jones of the Data Archive at the University of Essex, is now available.
  • November 4 1998
    An electronic version of the eLib Supporting study " Comparative Evaluation of the Subject Based Gateways Approach to Providing Access to Network Resources" by David Haynes, David Streatfield, Noeleen Cookman and Helen Wood.
  • November 2 1998
    The HyLiFe project is coordinating a conference in London on 15-16 December 1998, entitled Integrate, Co-operate, Innovate, which will explore the implications and impacts of eLib Hybrid Library and Clumps developments.
  • October 30 1998
    An article on Realizing the Hybrid Library by Stephen Pinfield, Jonathan Eaton, Catherine Edwards, Rosemary Russell, Astrid Wissenburg and Peter Wynne appeared in the October issue of D-lib magazine.
  • October 23 1998
    A new release of the eLib Standards Guidelines, replacing those originally released on 26 February 1996.
  • September 7 1988
    General information and a booking form now available for the eLib conference Information Ecologies: the impact of new information 'species', to be held in York, 2 - 4 December 1998.
  • August 18 1998
    Chris Rusbridge has written an overview of the history and direction of the UK eLib Programme for the July/August issue D-lib magazine, Towards the Hybrid Library.
  • July 2 1998
    Supporting Studies for the eLib programme are now available in Word and HTML formats. These cover a number of areas explored by the programme, and paper editions are now available from LITC (Library Information Technology Centre), South Bank University, London.

Introduction to eLib: the Electronic Libraries Programme

In 1993, an investigation into how to deal with the pressures on library resources, caused by the rapid expansion of student numbers and the world-wide explosion in academic knowledge and information, was undertaken by the Joint Funding Council's Libraries Review Group, chaired by Sir Brian Follett. This investigation resulted in the Follett Report. One of the key conclusions of this report was:

"The exploitation of IT is essential to create the effective library service of the future".

As a consequence, the Higher Education Funding Bodies in the UK invited proposals for projects which would "transform the use and storage of knowledge in higher education institutions". 15 million pounds was initially allocated to the "Electronic Libraries Programme", managed by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) on behalf of the funding bodies. A series of waves of funding, proposals and projects has resulted in the eLib (capital L is correct) programme consisting of around 60 projects. Many of the projects are involved in, or tackle, overlapping or complementary themes; several of the projects and programme areas are also working closely with other digital/electronic library initiatives, some of these having a more international focus.

The first wave of projects began work in the spring of 1995. Project durations differ, so as some projects end, others either begin in further eLib waves, or continue through continuation funding or sponsorship. The programme is not overtly a research programme; its main remit is to provide a body of tangible, electronic resources and services for UK Higher Education, and to affect a cultural shift towards the acceptance and use of said resources and services in place of more traditional information storage and access methods.

eLib ...was funded by... JISC


An archive of the Interoperability Focus Web site is available on the Internet Archive (*/ On 5 June 2013 this Web site had been crawled 346 times going back to 21 July 1997. The most recent archive was taken on 12 March 2013.

Note that this Web site is also available on the UK Web archive.

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The Electronic Libraries Programme (eLib) was funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)
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