We are pleased at Towards a National Collection to announce several important updates regarding our Foundation Projects Interim Reports and webinar series. Please make the information below known in your institution and encourage colleagues to sign up to our mailing list.
Our eight Foundation Projects are officially a year into their investigations to identify and address the current or future challenges of developing a ‘national collection.’ Although Covid-19 has affected some of their progress, all have produced Interim Reports which discuss their methodologies, early research findings, and way forward.
Read the reports here
To assist in the dissemination of their findings, three webinars have been organised between 19th & 24th February, focussing on six of the projects. More information and registration below.
Date: Friday 19 February 2021, 1100-1230 GMT
Persistent Identifiers as IRO Infrastructure (Rachael Kotarski) & Locating a National Collection (Gethin Rees)
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Persistent Identifiers (PIDs) provide a long-lasting click-able link to a digital object. They are recognised by UKRI as a tool for enabling data discovery, access and citation. This project brings together best practices in the use of PIDs, building on existing work and projects. Early findings are derived from: a survey of the sector, two webinars,; two case studies, a demonstrator of PIDs in use to link between collections and research, and a literature review. These early findings have led to a set of recommendations to take forward on the approach to PIDs for colleagues in institutions across the UK heritage sector.
Locating a National Collection (LaNC) aims to help cultural heritage organisations to use location data — such as where objects were made and used or the places they depict and describe — to connect collections and engage audiences. Through scoping, workshops, audience research and exploratory technical work, the project is establishing best practice and providing technical recommendations for a national approach to using location to discover collection items from diverse cultural heritage organisations.
Date: Monday 22 February 2021, 1400-1530 GMT
Heritage Connector (John Stack) & Deep Discoveries (Lora Angelova)
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Heritage Connector explores three technologies (AI, Linked Open Data & Knowledge Graphs) that together have the potential to provide a step change in access and discoverability, research and public engagement by augmenting traditional catalogue data and associated keyword search through generation of a vast number of interlinked resources and content. Early findings around the complexities and technical challenges of applying artificial intelligence techniques to cultural heritage collection catalogues will be shared.
The Deep Discoveries project is carrying out research into the application of computer vision search tools for enhancing the ability of general audiences and specialist researchers to discover visual collections in new and/or more effective ways. Early findings around search algorithm development, user-centred scenarios in search and discovery, and the front-end design of a prototype web-based search app will be discussed.
Date: Wednesday 24 February 2021, 1400-1530 GMT
Provisional Semantics (Emily Pringle) & Engaging Crowds (Pip Willcox)
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Provisional Semantics focuses on redressing outdated and/or offensive language and an interrogation of how long-standing problematic, or even racist, hierarchies/binaries/narratives/perspectives are produced and reinforced in catalogue entries, object descriptions and interpretive material. The rationale and early findings of case studies in the collections at the National Trust, Imperial War Museums and Tate will be presented.
The Engaging Crowds project explores the increasing growth in digitally enabled volunteer participation in cultural heritage. The project is building an indexing tool for the Zooniverse Project Builder which enables volunteers to steer their own path through a project. It is delivering three citizen research projects to surface the contents of record sets held by the project’s Independent Research Organisations and to evaluate the tool: HMS NHS: The Nautical Health Service, Scarlets and Blues, and RBGE Herbarium: plants, collectors and discovery. Progress on the indexing tool and the three citizen research projects will be shared.
Colin McDowall | Communications & Events Co-Ordinator (Towards a National Collection) firstname.lastname@example.org