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19 February 2002














Cross Currents No 7 Feb 2002 

A digest of cross sectoral information management events, issues and ideas in organisations, libraries, archives and museums, with special emphasis on arts and the humanities.




UK strategy | UK conference


Cultural Policy Network | Cultural Sector, Information Society. Museum Websites, Online Music Industry | e-Humanities: looking ahead | World Bank and Cultural Development | Arts Centres and Education  | Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences 


Collaboration between libraries and publishers | OCLC Digital Initiatives | US Academic Libraries 



Vendor prices | SPARC Consulting Group


Australian museums: situation and strategy| Collaboration Between Libraries and Museums     


Music Relationships Symposium | Building a Virtual Music Library | Music Information Retrieval


SIBMAS Conference | Performance Recordings | Performing Arts Database South Africa



UK archival strategy

The National Council on Archives, with funding from Resource: The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries, the Public Record Office and the Society of Archivists has produced a new report, Archives in the Regions: An Overview of the English Regional Archive Strategies,  recommending an immediate regional investment of £2 million to enable English regions to begin delivering improved access to all archive users through standards, training and continuing development of ICT initiatives.  The report emphasizes development of sustainable solutions for management and preservation of digital records, improving access to conservation services across the regions, and responding to the differing needs of particular regions. URL [Source: Aus-Archivists List]


UK archival conference

The University of Edinburgh will host a Conference on the New Information Order and the Future of the Archive, 20-23 March 2002. Issues to be addressed include: pressures on the public domain in intellectual and aesthetic materials; privatisation of intellectual resources and its threat to free availability; new forms of licensing and networking emerging in the transition to the electronic archive; ethical questions in the ceding of content to electronic publishers; threats posed by the emerging oligopolies in scholarly publishing; legal implications of the electronic archiving of newspapers and journals; devising a framework for deposit of electronic materials; new possibilities of access opened up by the development of electronic archives and databases; the relation between originals and copies in the new order of things; futures, both technological and social, emerging for the book and the artwork; and the future of the bookshop in an electronic world.  Plenary speakers include Paul Mosher (Director of Libraries, University of Pennsylvania), Paul Ayris (Chair, Consortium of University Research Libraries Task Force on Scholarly Communications), Michael Mabe (Director of Academic Relations, Elsevier) and Bruce Royan (SCRAN).  Contact: Professor John Frow, Director  Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Edinburgh, [Source: Cultural Policy listserv]



Cultural Policy Network [US]

The Center for Arts and Culture, Washington, DC, an independent think tank that aims to ‘enlarge the public vision of the centrality of the arts and culture in everyday life’ through programs in ‘research, publishing, field building, and convening’ has established the Cultural Policy Network, a confederation of scholars working on cultural policy research at 28 colleges and universities. The Center has also published essays on a range of topics and two books: The Politics of Culture (2000) and Crossroads: Art and Religion (2001). It maintains a public listserv on arts and culture and encourage the exchange of ideas, research, and information among policy makers and professionals in the cultural community. Web: [Source: Cultural Policy]


Cultural Sector, Information Society, Museum Web Sites and Online Music Industry

The February 2002 issue of First Monday (vol 7 no 2) includes the essay, What the Cultural Sector Can Learn from Enron by Bernard F. Reilly Jr, based on his talk on intangible assets, managing and preserve digital resources and learning from other sectors, given at the Digital Library Federation. Other articles include: Continuities and Transformations: Challenges to Capturing Information about the Information Society by Fred Gault and Susan A. McDaniel; Informational Value of Museum Web Sites by V. Kravchyna and S. K. Hastings and Technological and Social Drivers of Change in the Online Music Industry by Mark Fox  [Source NINCH-ANNOUNCE]


eHumanities: Looking Ahead

The National Endowment for the Humanities has scheduled eHumanities, a lecture series in Washington on digital technology and the humanities  Speakers include James J. O'Donnell, Professor of Classical Studies and Vice Provost for Information Systems and Computing at the University of Pennsylvania, who will present a talk on February 13 called After the Internet, in which he will assert the Internet bubble has burst, the Internet is boring and the time has arrived for serious thought and action about the integration of information technology and information science in the humanistic organisation.  Will Thomas and Ed Ayrers, on 27 February 2001, will speak on The Next Generation of Digital Scholarship: An Experiment in Form on deficiencies in scholarly communication and present a prototype of a journal article designed to take advantage of the possibilities of the web while addressing some of the limitations of that context. [Source NINCH-Announce]


Humanities and IT Award [US]

The Rockefeller Foundation has given $500,000 to the National Humanities Center to create a prize to recognise an individual who has used information technology to break new ground in the humanities in honour of Richard W. Lyman, President Emeritus of Stanford University. The award will be presented for the first time in April 2002 and will emphasise outstanding scholarly or critical achievement, facilitated by creative use of technology, rather than dazzling examples of technology. Contact:  [Source: NINCH-Announce]


World Bank and Cultural Development

The World Bank has launched the Development Gateway Foundation, a not-for-profit organization whose core objectives are to reduce poverty and support sustainable development through the use of ICT. The Foundation seeks to ‘create partnerships to support ICT capacity, move ideas and innovations for ICT into prototypes and applications that will be tested in the field, and bring the benefits of the ICT revolution to the poorest communities -- those most affected by the digital divide’. The Foundation's four key programs are a Development Gateway portal, grants and investments, and ICT development forum and a research and training network. The site contains over 700 documents on culture including articles, policy documents, case studies and useful websites that cover such key issues as economics of culture, cultural policy, cultural tourism, heritage in peril, arts, crafts & media, cultural management, heritage preservation, and documentation practices. Web: Contact: Eleanor E. Fink Senior Cultural Heritage Specialist World Bank [NINCH-Announce]


Arts Centres and Education [US]

The Kennedy Center has sought applications for the position of Director, ARTSEDGE to administer the development and maintenance of its online programming and services. Web:  [Source NINCH-Announce]


Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences.

The University of California, Santa Barbara, will host a conference called Interfacing Knowledge: New Paradigms for Computing in the Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences on March 8-10, 2002:  The conference is supported by the UC Digital Cultures Project, Microcosms, the Rockefeller Foundation, UC's Humanities Research Institute, the UCSB Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, and the Departments of English and Art History, Sessions include the history of knowledge interfaces and reinventing the interface  Web:  [Source:NINCH-Announce]


Collaboration Between Libraries and Publishers

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) and the International Publishers' Association (IPA) have established a joint steering group to work together on matters of common interest. Joint statements published recently include Librarians and publishers working to a common agenda and Publishers and librarians promote common principles on copyright in the electronic environment A statement under preparation is Joint Statement on the Archiving and Preserving of Digital Information. Feedback on the following draft is sought by IFLA at



Preserving digital information is becoming an increasingly urgent challenge for both libraries and publishers, as the amount of digital information is growing quickly and preservation policies and techniques for this format of material have received little or no priority. While many electronic publications are produced in both print and digital formats, although not always at the same time or in identical versions, more and more material is produced as "born digital", that is, it has no print equivalent. It is estimated that much of this type of material has already been lost, as some producers have deleted their electronic publications without ensuring that a long-term archiving process was implemented. The need is pressing. While the costs of long-term archiving are high, the cost of doing nothing would be disastrous.

Libraries have traditionally taken care of the publications they have acquired, and have saved the physical artifact because they wished to safeguard the information contained in the artifact.  With digital information the safeguarding of the content becomes a shared responsibility between the producer and the collector of the information.  While both publishers and libraries are committed to maintaining digital files, efforts to date are inconsistent, fragmented and under-funded.

Principles and Recommendations

Both IFLA and IPA wish to work together to obtain some practical and long-term results in the area of digital preservation.  They therefore advocate the following principles and recommendations:

1.     An increasing amount of information published only in electronic form has enduring cultural and documentary significance and is just as important as information published in more traditional forms.

2.     The long-term availability of this information is required and action must be taken now to make this possible.

3.     Both organizations will work to make long-term archiving and preservation a key agenda item internationally.

4.     Both organizations will encourage the development of industry standards, systems, and research for digital archiving and preservation, including identifying funding opportunities to support such work.

5.     While publishers generally can ensure the short-term archiving of their publications so long as these publications are economically viable, libraries are best-placed to take responsibility for long-term archiving through appropriate arrangements with publishers.

6.     Since national libraries have the mandate to acquire and preserve the published heritage in their respective countries, and most are experimenting with the acquisition of digital publications, these libraries, with other leading libraries and organizations, should take the lead responsibility for long-term archiving of digital publications;

7.     A publisher/library working group will further develop joint initiatives regarding the technical, economic and policy issues of digital preservation.

Web: and  [Source: NINCH-Announce]

OCLC Digital Initiatives

  • Digital & Preservation Resources Centers. The centres digitise newspapers, books, manuscripts, photographic formats and more and provide high quality preservation microfilming and storage. They enrich digital collections by adding metadata and full-text search capabilities so collections are fully retrievable, not just identifiable. They provide a range of services, from basic reformatting to metadata creation, text conversion and mark-up and delivery of web-ready packages of digital collections.  

  • Digital Archive. The Archive offers a safe, reliable, standards-based, long-term solution for the life cycle management of digital collections. A format protection service ensures continued access to collections as technology evolves.  

  • Digital & Preservation Co-op. Co-op participants will work together to develop educational resources on standards and best practices for digitisation and preservation and provide access to a growing body of networked digital collections worldwide. It provides a clearinghouse for information on grant and other funding resources and on digitisation collaborative projects. Co-op participants will come together to share knowledge and increase the value of digital collections by combining them with other collections.  

[Source: NINCH-Announce]

US Academic Libraries.

The Association of Research Libraries and the University of Michigan Library are co-sponsoring a conference called  Redefining Preservation, Shaping New Solutions, Forging New Partnerships on March 7-8, 2002 at Ann Arbor, Michigan to identify, explore, and examine current and evolving preservation issues confronting academic libraries and institutions. Topics include large scale solutions for artefacts; environment controls; storage facilities; de-acidification; distributed responsibility for newspapers; working with vendors; collaboration in the digital world; fundraising; small group discussions; building preservation programs locally and identifying national actions  Web: [Source: ARL-ANNOUNCE]


Vendor Prices

HEDS, the UK Higher Education Digitisation Service, has embarked on a study of vendors in the UK and Europe who put a price on access to digital cultural heritage.  The study will explore how do they arrive at prices, ho prices differ from prices for comparable analog content and what determines when they charge for access and when they provide it free of charge. The study is supported by a Mellon grant. [Source: FOS Newsletter]


SPARC Consulting Group

The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition has established the SPARC Consulting Group to provide business, financial, and strategic consulting services to universities and university presses, not-for-profit learned societies, and other academic and not-for-profit organizations, as well as to SPARC members and partners.  Services will include general management advice; strategic, operational and competitive analysis; initiative design and implementation; business, strategic and action planning; proof-of-concept development; funding proposals including start-up and long- term financing; forecasting, budgeting, financial analysis and economic modeling; research; and developing strategic and business relationships.  Work products may include basic documentation such as a business plan, pricing and marketing plan, logistical schedule and economic model.  Consulting services are a client-specific fee-based adjunct to the range of SPARC's existing services which remain free of charge.  SPARC currently has approximately 200 institutions and library consortia in North America, Australia, New Zealand and Asia.  Web:  [Source FOS newsletter]


Australian museums: situation and strategy

Iain McCalman in Museum & Heritage Management in the New Economy (Humanities Research Vol 8, no 1 (2001) examines the status of Australian museums particularly with reference to tourism, civic infrastructure, their educational role and global and regional markets.  Proposed strategies are outlined under the headings: innovation and the new economy; mapping the needs pf heritage consumers;. research and communicative learning processes; social application of information technologies; urban and rural civic environments; cultural research precincts; international research and development initiatives; and integration of science and cultural heritage initiatives.  McCalman concludes: “In the new global, information-based knowledge economies of the future, the ability to be innovative both in generating research and applying it for social use is more important than at any other time since the onset of the first industrial revolution in the second half of the eighteenth century.  Yet the psychic and intellectual properties that generate a creative, innovative and critical culture during times of bewildering social and technological change remain elusive.  The governments of Britain, Singapore and New Zealand, to take examples of clear relevance to Australia, have recently stressed a precious pioneering spirit of innovation. Australia needs it”.


Collaboration between Libraries and Museums

In 2001, the Institute of Museum and Library Services in the United States awarded over US$14.5 million to museums, libraries, professional museum and library service organizations, and museum-library partnerships from its annual budget of $US230 million. Applicants for 2002 grants may request up to US$500,000 for proposals that encourage public service, meet community needs and use technology innovatively. Priorities for 2002 proposals are as follows .

National Leadership Grants for Libraries

  • Education and training. Supports training and education in library and information science, including traineeships, institutes, graduate fellowships and other programs.

  • Research and demonstration. Encourages strong proposals for research in library science and for demonstration projects to test potential solutions to problems in real-world situations.

  • Preservation and digitisation. Helps preserve and/or digitise library resources.

National Leadership Grants for Museums:

  • Museums online. Designed specifically to encourage innovative uses of technology by museums, particularly projects of national significance that demonstrate how digital technologies can be used to increase knowledge and extend valuable services and opportunities to all Americans.

  • Museums in the Community. Supports museum-community partnerships that improve the quality of community life – particularly those that will develop long-term partnerships and address documented community needs.

  • Professional training. Supports programs that address core museum practices such as strategic planning, professional training, and leadership development, particularly projects that investigate museum issues, address technology trends in museum operations, and develop model programs of partnership between museum associations and museums.

National Leadership Grants for Library-Museum Collaboration:

  • These grants support innovative projects that demonstrate how museums and libraries can work together to expand their services to the public, particularly using technology and/or enhancing education.

Web: [Source: Cultural Policy Listserv]



Music Relationships Symposium 2002

Queensland Conservatorium, Griffith University will present an international symposium called  CONNECTing at South Bank Brisbane, 26-28 April 2002  The symposium aims to connect policy makers, music educators, music makers, major arts organisations, business partners and the general public to explore cultural connections between living musical traditions and innovative practice, debate the future of music making and creative development in a multi-cultural Australia, and investigate the key elements that underpin individual creativity and its relationship to collaborative musical practice. The keynote speaker will be Dr Peter Renshaw, former Head of Research and Development Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London. Contact: Carol McGoldrick, Symposium Administrator, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University,


Building a Virtual Music Library

L. Adcock has published Building a Virtual Music Library: Towards a Convergence of Classification within Internet-based Catalogues in the journal Knowledge Organization 28(2001)2; p. 66-74. [Source: Erik Arfeuille, DIGLIB]


Music Information Retrieval

The 3rd International Conference on Music Information Retrieval has called for papers, tutorials, panels and exhibits for presentation at the Centre Pompidou, 13-17 October 2002  Domains and topics of interest include algorithms and methods for classification, clustering, probabilistic modelling, association analysis, artificial intelligence, data mining, expert systems, formal models of music, knowledge representation, discovery and acquisition,  machine learning, pattern recognition, perception and cognition, soft computing (neural networks, fuzzy systems, evolutionary computation, formal models of music and their digital representations); music digital libraries, music indexing and metadata (authoring and generation), music recognition (printed, audio), music representation, coding, language modelling, musical styles and genres; music similarity metrics (perceptual criteria such as pitch, rhythm, timbre; musical criteria; such as form, genre, etc.); query languages for music IR (expressiveness, complexity), routing and filtering for music and music queries, standards (eg metadata schema, XML, MPEG, Dublin Core, MARC, Z39.50) and other metadata or protocols for music information retrieval (eg CDDB), user interfaces; socio-cultural aspects, systems issues (performance, compression, scalability, databases, architecture, distributed search, multi-agent systems, mobile applications), validation (user needs and expectations, evaluation of music IR systems, building test collections, experimental design and metrics),  intellectual property rights issues (nationally and internationally); business models and experience. Web: [Source: IAML-L]


SIBMAS Conference 2002

The Burcardo Library and Theatre Collection of Rome, Italy, will host the 24th International Conference of SIBMAS (International Association of Libraries and Museums of the Performing Arts).  The central theme of the conference is performing arts collections and their treatment.  The preliminary program and call for papers are available at Conference contact: Maria Teresa Iovinelli, Director, Burcardo Library and Theatre Collection, Via del Sudario, 44, I-00186 Rome, Italy, For information about SIBMAS: Claire Hudson, General Secretary of SIBMAS, Head of Information & Collections Management, Theatre Museum,  [Source: SIBMAS \ Diglib]


Performance Recordings 

Internet2 Arts and Humanities Initiatives and the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) are co-sponsoring a working group to develop standards and best practices for documenting, archiving and retrieving the recordings of performances such as live theatre, musical compositions, dance. Tasks for the working group include:

  • Researching existing technologies and practices for recording and archiving events 

  • Identifying standards for capturing digital audio and video ß Identifying technologies for archiving, searching, delivery, and presentation

  • Building connections and consensus with scholarly publishing activities in the arts and humanities including digital thesis projects, performing arts archives and library special collections.

  • Developing a best practices document for event documentation

  • Hosting a workshop to disseminate results of best-practices and standards proposals

Members of the working group will be expected to participate in bi-monthly conference calls and conduct follow up activities between conference call meetings. Working group meetings will also be held in person at Internet2 member meetings, CNI task force meetings and other appropriate venues. A key component of the working group will be addressing dissertations that result in these performances. [Source CNI-announce]


Performing Arts Database South Africa

Hot on the heels of the AusStage national performing arts database in Australia, the peak national body for the performing arts in South Africa, PANSA, is developing that country's most comprehensive database on the performing arts with the assistance of funding from the Royal Netherlands Embassy. The database will contain information about performing arts events since 1994, with additional entries relating to individuals, companies and educational institutions. PANSA has set itself a target of 5,000 entries by 31 May 2002. Website: Email: [Source: Dramatic Online]


This issue of Cross Currents compiled by Paul Bentley



The Wolanski Foundation would be grateful for feedback on the scope, format and content of this bulletin..


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