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Culture Online receives more funding - and calls for proposals to spend it


March 3, 2018

Estelle Morris, Minister for the Arts at the Department for Culture Media & Sport (DCMS) today confirmed that Culture Online has been awarded a further £3,000,000 to spend on innovative interactive projects in 2018 and 2006.

Culture Online is now inviting project proposals from those with great new ideas...

Press Release from Wired-GOV.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 18:00 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

OCLC seeking help in their Terminologies project


February 10, 2018

Over on one of the blogs from OCLC, there's a post in which Susan Westberg invites terminology-using museums, archives and libraries to get involved in an interesting terminology project upon which they are embarking.

Quoting from the message,

“The intention of the pilot is to provide a means to access and search thesauri you currently use (be it in paper or web formats) in one place in an online environment. During the pilot, you would search, copy and paste terms from a variety of thesauri into the bibliographic records you are creating or updating,using the Connexion browser and the Research pane available with MS Office 2003. This allows you to expedite adding valid access points to bibliographic records rather than keying them in. Pasting the text into the MARC text area does include the correct tags and subfields.
The list of potential thesauri is:
gsafd – Guidelines on subject access to individual works of fiction, drama, etc. (ALA)
gmgpc lctgm – Thesaurus of graphic materials, TGM I & II (LC)
radfg – Radio form / genre terms guide (LC)
mim – Moving image materials: genre terms (LC)
ngl – Newspaper Genre List (University of Washington)
aat, tgn, ULAN – Getty vocabularies (subsets only): AAT (Art & Architecture Thesaurus), TGN (Thesaurus of Geographic Names), and ULAN (Union List of Artists’ Names)
mesh – Medical Subject Headings (NLM)”

Interested institutions should read the full post, then get in touch with Susan.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 22:22 | Make or Read Comments(0)

Placing a value on Culture?


February 4, 2018

Over on Demos' great blog, Greenhouse, John Holden nudges readers to reopen debate around issues published last December in their Capturing Cultural Value pamphlet.

“How can you measure/describe/articulate/characterise a greater public involvement and democratisation of culture? How can the cultural world be responsive to people’s needs, whilst preserving the integrity of artists and the professionalism of funders? How should we square the wishes of today’s public with the interests of future generations?

Part of the thesis is that answers come not from us, but from practitioners. Every institution needs to find its own way (that’s part of the process that creates value) and not every institution will have the same set of answers.”

Quoting from the abstract to John's pamphlet,

“Cultural organisations and their funding bodies have become very good at describing their value in terms of social outcomes. Tackling exclusion, increasing diversity and contributing to economic development are all familiar justifications in grant applications.

But by talking in functional terms about the value of culture, cultural organisations have lost the ability to describe their real purpose – producing good work that enriches people’s lives. Culture now delivers government policy by other means.”

The argument could be aimed fair and square at most of the readers of this Blog, so what do you think? Is John right? If so, what do we do about it? If not, how do we persuade him of the fact?

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 20:43 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

DigiCULT report on a future for digital heritage activity


December 9, 2004

Back in October, I mentioned an exercise to paint a picture of what cultural heritage professionals think their online offering will be in a decade from now.

The DigiCULT team have just published the result which, quoting from their summary:

“...summarises the results of an expedition into the possible future of digital heritage in the next 10-15 years. It is based on contributions of researchers, heritage experts and professionals to a DigiCULT online forum as well as the project's ongoing research. The report is intended as a navigation tool for boards and directors of heritage organisations and research centres, IT project managers, and curators of digital collections, virtual exhibitions and environments. It cautions that the next waves of innovative ICT systems and applications may significantly shape and re-shape the digital landscape in which heritage organisations reside. For many organisations this could result in becoming 'blind spots' in an emerging ambient intelligence environment. As the places and roles of digital heritage in this environment need to be discussed and prepared, the report also gives recommendations which may be useful for ensuring the creation of a thriving and inclusive future digital heritage space.”

The report is available in HTML and as a PDF.

Announcement from the DigiCULT RSS feed.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 11:19 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

European cultural project asks for thoughts on where we go next...


October 29, 2004

The European DigiCULT project is conducting an online consultation to build a roadmap for technological developments around a digital Cultural Heritage over the next 10 to 15 years.

Participate and help to shape where we go.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 12:43 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (2)

Archive Awareness Campaign


October 21, 2004

Last night, I attended the launch of this year's Archive Awareness Campaign at The Guardian's Newsroom.

Speakers included Tony Benn, who spoke of his own personal archive; detailed diaries, papers and audio recordings spanning his long career in politics.

This year's campaign sees a range of events across the country, as well as popular programming in association with the BBC.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 08:22 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (4)

Losing the Past - BBC Radio 4


October 14, 2004

An interesting Radio 4 Programme about digital archiving - and particularly interesting section about the Internet Archive from Brewster Khale. This programme can also be heard on the 'listen again' section, and will also be in the BBC Creative Archive.

Posted by David Dawson at 21:54 | Make or Read Comments(0)

Network of English archives passes 7 million


October 1, 2004

Access to Archives, the English strand of the developing UK archival network, now contains 7.1 million entries from more than 80,000 catalogues, gathered from 357 individual repositories across England.

News from the A2A RSS feed.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 21:22 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

Culture as a catalyst in building and maintaining communities


September 23, 2004

The Department for Culture Media & Sport today released a new booklet, Bringing Communities Together through Sport and Culture. It discusses the ways in which cultural, artistic and sporting activities can create a sense of local community, and improve quality of life.

DCMS will now be working with its agencies and with related departments such as the Home Office and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister to build upon current foundations.

Release from Wired-GOV.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 11:52 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

Opening up information


August 26, 2004

One of the issues often raised in the context of the Common Information Environment is that of allowing access to information and resources through multiple channels, and in ways suited to the user and their needs rather than to the providing organisation(s).

I was in Edinburgh earlier this week, and spent some time with SCRAN. Amongst a range of interesting activities with which they are engaged, they offer some examples of exactly what I mean.

Their content, largely the result of some £10,000,000 of public funding through the Millennium Commission, is available on their own web site. There, users can search for items and group them in different and interesting ways as ‘albums’. These albums can be disclosed to others so, for example, a class teacher could prepare albums of relevant material for their class.

The SCRAN database also exists as a Z39.50 target. This means that it’s available for searching alongside resources from related organisations, as demonstrated by HEIRNET’s HEIRPORT system.

Content from the SCRAN database is also offered up via services branded and delivered by a range of other agencies involved in heritage, tourism, and related areas.

Finally (for this post, anyway), the ability to search SCRAN’s database can be dropped into almost any web site, anywhere, thanks to a small snippet of code.



send detailsclear details

With their new web site coming, and a range of activities that seem wholly in line with the Igeneric vision, I look forward to seeing much more from this excellent resource, which really seems to have grasped the idea that the end user should not need to know that SCRAN - or their website - exists in order to make use of quality SCRAN-managed content.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 17:04 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

Irish treasures online


July 3, 2004

Like David, I was in Dublin last week for a very interesting cultural heritage event as part of Ireland's presidency of the EU.

I gave a paper there, and bemoaned the fact that I couldn't get hold of any high quality images of Irish artefacts from Irish sources (I had to use the British Museum's COMPASS).

After the event, Anthony Edwards at Clare County Library got in touch, and told me about Riches of Clare. An excellent resource, and one I shall definitely turn to next time I get invited to talk about things Irish... Thank you Anthony, and I'm happy to put the record straight here.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 00:21 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (2)

Cultural institutions are relevant to you...


June 30, 2004

Not for the Likes of You looks at repositioning our cultural organisations in order to make them appear more relevant and engaging to the broadest of audiences.

The report was commissioned in 2003 by Arts Council England, MLA, the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, and published in May of 2004.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 15:49 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)

The National Archives wins prestigious award for digital preservation


June 23, 2004

The National Archives at Kew won the prestigious Pilgrim Trust Digital Preservation Award last night.

The award was presented by Lloyd Grossman, chair of the Digital Preservation Coalition, and saw TNA beating off stiff competition from the National Library of New Zealand/ Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa and others.

It's like a fridge, apparently, keeping "electronic documents fresh for future generations". Hmm. An organisation with a metaphor even more strained than my Digital Aquifer!

TNA press release from Wired.gov.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 15:40 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (1)

Archiving the UK web


June 22, 2004

The BBC provides coverage of yesterday’s press release about efforts to archive UK web space.

Partners in the new UK Web Archiving Consortium include the JISC, our three National Libraries, The National Archives, and the Wellcome Trust.

Posted by Oliver Smith-Toynes at 13:38 | Make or Read Comments(0) | TrackBack (0)


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