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24 May 2002














Cross Currents No 9 May 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.



Australia | Europe


Australian government strategy | Conferences | Statistics


SIBMAS Directory


19th Century sheet music


National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage

DIGITAL LIBRARIES & DIGITISATION Articles | European digital libraries conference | Trusted Digital Repositories



Australian Key Needs Study |

Canadian Heritage Information Network | Chicago action

RECORDKEEPING & ARCHIVES Australian recordkeeping audit | US electronic records guide | US Companies Benchmark study


Collaborative facilities | eScholarship Repository | National Science Foundation Infrastructure Initiative | Scholarly Communication Institute |ARL Scholars Portal Project


Archival descriptive standards | OAI Protocol Metadata Harvesting Project | Serials




The Department of Communications Information Technology & the Arts (DCITA) and the National Office of the Information Economy (NOIE) are updating plans for the development of Australia’s ICT sector over the next decade.  A Framework for the Future Steering Committee has been formed with representatives from Australian companies and global corporations, Australian publicly-funded research bodies like the CSIRO and the Defence Science and Technology Organisation (DSTO) and the university sector. Details on membership and terms of reference are available from the DCITA website http://www.dcita.gov.au/. The report is anticipated in December 2002.

In the meantime, NOIE has released two reports on the state of the ICT industry, its needs and prospects. Australia's Information Economy: The Big Picture, prepared for NOIE by the Allen Consulting Group working with Monash University, was released in April 2002 at http://www.noie.gov.au/allenreport. Key issues: broadband, IT skills shortage, privacy and security. The April 2002 Current State of Play report contains charts and data highlighting Australia's relatively high ranking in Internet uptake at http://www.noie.gov.au/stateofplay

To assist regional use of ICT, NOIE has produced NetSpots Directory to help people find their nearest public Internet access facility in Australia (http://www.noie.gov.au/netspots). NOIE also publishes TIGERS Newsletter to track progress in the Trials of Innovative Government Electronic Regional Services (TIGERS) project.

To explore how government and industry can work together to develop better IT capabilities,  NOIE has established Health Online, a joint venture with the Department of Health and Ageing, Health Insurance Commission and Department  of Veterans Affairs. 


In the April issue of NordInfo, Bernard Smith, Head of Cultural Heritage Applications, EU Directorate General Information Society, analyses EU policies for the knowledge society. Contents: Europe in the Internet age, the eEurope contribution; completing telecommunications liberalisation; accelerating e-commerce; security and confidence building; promoting content; eGovernment; and digital inclusion. Conclusion: the spread of the Internet can foster economic growth, provide jobs, connect remote places to urban centres, and increase the standard of living. For this to happen, Europe needs: the best possible infrastructure; more competition to drive down prices; a sound legal framework for converged communication’s services and e-commerce; innovative, quality content for new interactive services; an effective, efficient and user-friendly eGovernment; a skilled population; and global access. “Europe has made major strides in addressing Internet availability and affordability, nevertheless, much still needs to be done to address motivation. Today one third of Europeans are committed users of the Internet, another third can have access but is today not motivated to use it, and the last third of Europeans are excluded from using it even if they wanted to”. Web: http://www.nordinfo.helsinki.fi/publications/nordnytt/nnytt4_01/smith.htm


Australian government strategy

The Cultural Ministers Council held its 15th meeting in May 2002. Decisions were made on or consideration given to Key Needs of Australian Heritage Collections, cultural statistics, reconciliation, arts and education, major performing arts inquiry recommendations, the small-to-medium performing arts sector, the cultural benefits of public broadcasting in Australia, and the inquiry into contemporary visual arts and crafts sector.

On the small to medium size performing arts, CMC agreed to enhance overall sector sustainability in creative and financial terms through enhanced co-operation between the Australia Council, DCITA and State/Territory funding agencies. It approved a joint program for medium-size companies (annual turnover of $0.5 million to  $1.0 million) to support enhancement of skills in board governance, financial management, business development, marketing, use of IT and sponsorship/fundraising.

On sponsorship, CMC released The Strategic Direction in Corporate Sponsorships: Practical   Implications for the Arts, a publication developed by the Australia Business Arts  Foundation. This offers the following advice: [a] sponsorship arrangements are no longer determined by personal interest; [b] accountability to shareholders requires a 'hard-nosed business case'; [c] business looks for 'focus and fit', where values and identity match their own; [d] business seeks Cultural Partners who can demonstrate a valued contribution to community life; [e] the outcome from sponsorship should be measurable. Sponsored organisations should take equal responsibility for the ongoing relationship and outcomes.

Further details: See statistics below, museums next page and http://www.dcita.gov.au/


The second OZeCulture conference takes place in Sydney, 28-30 May 2002. The program features speakers on digital rights management; online learning; online exhibitions; website management on a small budget; online transactions; digital content and industry development; and other topics. Website: http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/conference/

Palm trees and sunshine will provide the backdrop for the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities.  The conference will take place on 12-15 January 2003 at the Sheraton Waikiki Hotel, Honolulu Hawaii, USA. Deadline for submission of papers: August 21, 2002. Web address: http://www.hichumanities.org. [Source: ARLISANZ-L]

Cultural development

The World Bank Development Gateway’s culture and development section has over 700 resources on arts, crafts & media, cultural management, cultural policy, cultural tourism, heritage preservation, heritage in danger and the economics of culture. Web: http://www.developmentgateway.org/culture/

E-commerce in the arts & crafts

The World Bank Development Gateway also has a section on e-commerce for arts & crafts at http://www.developmentgateway.org/e-arts/


The Cultural Ministers Council, at its May 2002 meeting, approved the CMC Statistics Working Group's proposals for measuring the social impacts of creative participation in arts and cultural activity, estimating the value of indigenous cultural product, and measuring the impact of cultural tourism in regions.

 The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released a report: Work in Selected Culture and Leisure Activities, Australia, April 2001 (Cat. No. 6281.0). 17% of Australians aged 15 or over did some paid or unpaid work in culture and leisure activities in the year ended April 2001. About one in three of these culture industry workers were paid for their work, and 62% of these paid workers undertook the activities as part of their main job. More information and a summary: http://www.abs.gov.au


The Société Internationale des Bibliothèques et des Musées des Arts du Spectacle (SIBMAS) has published a web version of its International Dictionary of Performing Arts Collections and Institutions  The directory lists over 7000 international institutions with material  relating to the performing arts (theatre, opera, music, ballet, film, circus, radio, television, cabaret, pantomime) and includes contact details and summary level information on the collections. Entrants are invited to contact the editors to correct errors and omissions. Web   http://www.theatrelibrary.org/ ]


Of possible interest to Australian music scholars is 19th-Century California Sheet Music, a virtual library of some 2,000 pieces of sheet music published in California between 1852 and 1900, together with related materials such as a San Francisco publisher's catalogue of 1872, programs, song sheets, advertisements, and photographs. Full images of every page and some sound files are available on the website, maintained by Professor Mary Kay Duggan, School of Information Management and Systems, University of California, Berkeley Web: http://www.sims.berkeley.edu/~mkduggan/neh.html


The American Library Association’s conference in Atlanta on 17 June 2002, will feature the  work of National Initiative for a Networked Cultural Heritage in the Library & Information Technology Association’s program "Building Our Cultural Heritage--Electronically" http://www.lita.org/ac2002/presprog.html. David Green from NINCH, Virginia Kerr from Northwestern University Library, Bernard F. Reilly, Jr. from the Center for Research Libraries, and Richard Rinehart from the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive will discuss why and how collaboration across the many sectors of the educational and cultural sectors is the key for the construction of a rich, widely accessible body of cultural resources. NINCH is a diverse coalition of 100 associations and institutions collaboratively tackling some of the problems inhibiting the rich and  integrated deployment of cultural material. This session will explore collaborative and innovative approaches taken by this group to look at, for example, new approaches to guidance in good practice, engagement of scholars, librarians and computer scientists in creating future environments and the investigation of new economic models and institutional structures necessary for a digital future. [Source :NINCH-ANNOUNCE] 


Articles & papers

Recent publications cited on the What's New in Digital Preservation site of the Digital Preservation Coalition and the National Library of Australia www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/digital-preservation include 

  • Bergman, Michael K. The deep Web: surfacing hidden value, Journal of Electronic Publishing, 7 (1), August 2001 http://www.press.umich.edu/jep/07-01/bergman.html 

  • Yakel, Elizabeth, Digital preservation. Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, 35, 2001, 337-378. A general overview of digital preservation issues by an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan.

Papers presented at the 3rd Annual Conference on Libraries and Museums in the Digital World, presented by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 20-22 March 2002,.have been published in the May 2002 issue of First Monday http://firstmonday.org/issues/issue7_5/ and include

  • Lynch, Clifford. Digital Collections, Digital Libraries and the Digitization of Cultural Heritage Information

  • Chandler, Robin L. Museums in the Online Archive of California (MOAC): Building Digital Collections Across Libraries and Museums

  • Cole, Timothy W. Creating a Framework of Guidance for Building Good Digital Collections

Ariadne issue 31 March/April 2002, has the following articles at http://www.ariadne.ac.uk/issue31/ :

  • Milne, Ronald. The Distributed National Collection' Access, and Cross-sectoral Collaboration: the Research Support Libraries Programme.

  • Powell, Andy and Lyon, Liz. The JISC Information Environment and Web Services - on  possible relationships between the Web Services idea and earlier ideas about seamless access to information

  • Hartland-Fox, Becky, Dalton, Pete and Barr, Perry. eVALUEd  - on a project to develop a transferable model for e-library evaluation.

European digital libraries conference

The European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries conference will take place at Pontifical Gregorian University Rome, Italy September 16-18, 2002  The focus of  the conference will be on underlying principles, methods, systems and  tools to build and make available to final users effective digital  libraries. Key issues to be addressed include Integration of methods, services, systems and interoperability across different data structures, metadata and components. The conference will be coordinated with a number of satellite scientific events, sponsored and organized by the DELOS Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries, an initiative funded by the European Union FP5 Information Society Technologies programme, which aims to contribute to the creation of a European digital library research community, encompassing all the different technology and application fields. Web: http://www.ecdl2002.org

Trusted Digital Repositories

The Research Libraries Group and OCLC in the United States have released Trusted Digital Repositories: Attributes and Responsibilities, a report on long-term preservation of and access to research materials in digital form. The report is primarily intended for cultural institutions such as libraries, archives, museums, and scholarly publishers and is specifically aimed at those with traditional or legal responsibilities for the preservation of cultural heritage.  It presents a brief definition of "trusted digital repositories," provides some examples of the circumstances in which institutions are undertaking their creation, and speaks to the nature and achievement of trust. It addresses the seven attributes such repositories must have and discusses requisite responsibilities at both the higher organizational/curatorial level and the operational level. Finally, the report looks at how repositories can be certified and summarizes seven key recommendations. An appendix provides technical overviews of the Reference Model for an Open Archival Information System (OAIS); - a common framework for describing and comparing architectures and operations of digital archives. Compliance with this model is a defining attribute of a trusted digital repository. In January 2002 RLG established an OAIS resources page and discussion list at its Web site to assist implementers). An operational responsibilities checklist, a glossary, and selected additional resources round out the report.

The report’s working group comprised Neil Beagrie (Joint Information Systems Committee, UK); Meg Bellinger (OCLC Digital & Preservation Resources); Robin Dale (RLG); Marianne Doerr (Bayerische Staatsbibliothek); Margaret Hedstrom (University of Michigan); Anne Kenney (Cornell University); Maggie Jones (Cedars Project CURL Exemplars in Digital Archives, UK); Catherine Lupovici (Bibliothèque national de France); Kelly Russell (Cedars Project CURL Exemplars in Digital Archives, UK); Colin Webb (National Library of Australia); and Deborah Woodyard (British Library) Web: http://www.rlg.org/.

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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