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together based on talks with individual partners
about their cataloguing processes. A template was
devised which it was felt could best match the levels
of cataloguing undertaken by different partners.
It contained core information fields, compatible with
the Dublin Core standard, which partners had to
produce for each catalogue item. Some fields were
mandatory such as descriptions, dates, copyright
status and access conditions. (A catalogue item is
usually defined as a discrete object.This may be a
photograph, a volume, an object, a leaflet and it may
have many parts to it for example, one catalogue
entry might be for a volume, which will obviously
have many pages (and therefore several pdfs) attached
to it.)
Despite this template there are still large variations
in the quality of metadata, which means the user may
have search experiences of varying success. In a truly
cross-domain project like Moving Here it is inevit-
able that the array of cataloguing styles and standards
used across three professions would produce vari-
ances.What was meant by a description to one
partner would not mean the same to another. Use
of subject, person and place index fields was not
obligatory and this is another difference among the
data.The central team had a policy of not interfering
with the metadata submitted by partners because this
would go against their integrity of cataloguing.
Instead, if improvements to the catalogue are to be
made they will have to come in the form of a layer
of index terms imposed in uniformity across the
whole catalogue from the central team at a later date.
At the end of the day it is important to make sure
the user has a consistent searching experience and
manages to access the wealth of sources. If they lay
hidden because people are searching on words not
mentioned in the original descriptions, then the
original descriptions should be enhanced.
Partners received funds from the NOF grant
according to the amount of items they had agreed
they could provide to Moving Here and the
resources required to provide them.These funds
sometimes covered the cost of buying scanning
equipment and, of course, staff to operate it or to
fund the use of existing in-house reprographics units.
Sometimes it included the cost of researchers to
delve into the collections and select suitable material
in the first place. For other partners the most prac-
tical approach was to outsource the digitisation and
hire the services of a digitisation bureau in some
cases, this was in fact another partner who was better
equipped for the digitisation of oral histories and
flatbed scanning than some smaller partners.
On the whole, partners underspent their allowance
from the total budget. Moving Here is an ambitious
project of significant scale which had not been
attempted before and it could therefore be true to
say that costs were over-estimated to be on the safe
side. In some cases there was an underspend because
the full amount of material originally promised was
too ambitious either there were copyright issues
or resource issues which meant targets now became
unrealistic and the partner could not spend all they
had been allocated.These underspends were put
back into the project and directed towards further
technical enhancements of the site, more marketing
to maintain the profile or more community activity.
What is... the New Opportunities Fund (NOF)?
The New Opportunities Fund is the biggest of the
National Lottery `good cause' distributors, providing
Lottery funding for health, education and environ-
ment projects across the UK.
Proposed projects should:
| improve the quality of life of people throughout
the UK;
| address the needs of those who are most dis-
advantaged in society;
| encourage community participation; and
| complement relevant local and national
strategies and programmes.
Furthermore, the project needs to assure sustainability
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