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ERIC Number: EJ901956
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0033-0337
Collaborative Working for Large Digitisation Projects
Yeates, Robin; Guy, Damon
Program: Electronic Library and Information Systems, v40 n2 p137-156 2006
Purpose: To explore the effectiveness of large-scale consortia for disseminating local heritage via the web. To describe the creation of a large geographically based cultural heritage consortium in the South East of England and management lessons resulting from a major web site digitisation project. To encourage the improved sharing of experience amongst similar projects in the future. Design/methodology/approach: A selective literature review seeking lessons on sustainable cultural heritage collaboration is presented. The composition of a consortium set-up with public lottery funding to build a cross-domain collaborative public web site containing cultural heritage materials from many local authorities and local partners is described. Practical experiences from the first three years of collaboration are presented in a manner loosely based on the European Union Digitisation Policies Benchmarking Model. Findings: Staff in local government libraries, archives and museums have, until recently, lacked experience in major web site publishing and even in the basic digitisation of locally held heritage materials. Local governments in England have traditionally co-operated within the library or museum sectors, but not across the whole domain. New communication methods and a formally structured consortium have so far enabled the collaborative publication of a major web site allowing cross-searching of partner materials as well as access to individual sites. More importantly, staff have begun to understand how to proceed in a sustainable way to support the future development of more sophisticated digital primary and learning resources that are preserved for the future and yet accessible to many more people. Practical implications: The paper notes the importance of shared values, common objectives and a practical approach to collaborative service delivery. It also highlights the challenges in situations where operational staff have multiple responsibilities and project staff may be available only while external short-term funding lasts. It is suggested that encouraging the documentation of operational experiences and sharing skills through a large-scale formal consortium can support sustainable development. Originality/value: The consortium described hopes to form a major part of the future framework for digital cultural heritage services in the South East of England. This paper offers a rare, reflective contribution from experienced, operational service practitioners who have completed a three-five year digitisation programme offering free public access to materials that serve to support and disseminate local and regional identity.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (England)