It intended that this feedback and the related documents and links will provide a good starting point for anyone who wants to know what cultural portals are and how collection descriptions make them work.
The aim of the day was to demonstrate how online cultural portals such as Cornucopia and MICHAEL could help collection holding institutions such as museums, libraries and archives. The seminar was aimed at those responsible for documentation, generating collections information, and/or ICT within their organisation.
Rachel Cockett of MLA West Midlands, introduced the day and focused on MICHAEL - the Multilingual Inventory of Cultural Heritage in Europe - intended to offer a simple way to access to the variety of digital material from UK museums, libraries and archives.
Ann Chapman of UKOLN, talked about Collection Description Focus and the cultural portal project Tap into Bath. Ann went into detail about what constituted 'a collection' and how to create a collection description; she showed examples of the type of data entered into a collection description and demonstrated how this information could be useful to a researcher. As we went through the day the same pattern of entry for collection descriptions showed up again and again demonstrating a strong consistency of information.
Sally Curry of INSPIRE introduced Find It!, the libraries interface with Cornucopia. This demonstrated how Cornucopia could be accessed through an interface specifically tailored to the end user. In addition it showed how the administrative side of Cornucopia had been adapted and simplified for librarians inputting collection descriptions.
Amanda Hill of the Archives Hub, talked about two projects the Archive Hub Spokes project and the Information Environment Services Registry (IESR). She provided an overview of the Archive Hub which contains descriptions of archives in the UK FE/HE sector and details of the Spokes distributed software project. Where archival repositories use open source software which allows them to create, hold and maintain their own data, which users can search through a web interface adapted for the individual repository.
The IESR will enable portal-builders to discover the existence of relevant services automatically by regularly querying and harvesting information. This exciting development should make it easier for other applications to discover and use materials which will help their users' learning, teaching and research.
Rachel Cockett presented a quick overview of Web 2.0 intended to provide a brief introduction to the subject highlighting some typical examples of user-led websites. She also briefly touched on RSS news feeds which provide a way to receive updates from websites automatically such as the Archives Hub blog.
Please see the reference documents for links and more information.
If anyone is interested in attending a training day to learn more about inputting electronic collection data into MICHAEL please contact Rachel on .