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1 November 2001














Cross Currents No 5 Nov 2001 

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.










Collection Description

Colorado Digitisation Project

Cultural Heritage Initiatives




Changing roles and relationships: 



Humanities Computing Curriculum

Directions in Humanities Computing


Content Management Systems

Digital Preservation Handbook

Dublin Core

HILT Thesaurus

Library Statistics

Physical Storage of Records


Victoria Theatre Trust Onstage contents


Australian Inquiry Issues paper 



The National Archives of Australia has released DIRKS: A Strategic Approach to Managing Business Information, a practical guide complying with methodology recommended in Australian Standard AS43901996, Records Management and in the technical report accompanying the International Standard ISO 15489 Records Management. Available from the National Archives of Australia website, the manual consists of the following elements:

  • Part One: the DIRKS methodology a users guide.

  • Part Two: step by step through the DIRKS methodology: preliminary investigation; analysis of business activity; identification of recordkeeping requirements; assessment of existing systems; strategies for recordkeeping; design of a recordkeeping system; implementation of a recordkeeping system; post-implementation review

  • Part Three: Appendixes: Guide to documentary sources; Guide to interviews; Interview questions; Source identification forms: Acts of Parliament, Statutory rules regulations), Organisation context document; Practical advice for using Keyword AAA terms in agency business classification schemes; Function source document;  Procedures for developing a records disposal authority in the Commonwealth; Guide to developing a business case for a DIRKS project; Recordkeeping cost-benefit analysis; Risk analysis in DIRKS; and Recordkeeping feasibility analysis.


The National Office of the Information Economy has recently released a number of reports on its website at;

  • Advancing with e-commerce, a report that examines  the adoption of electronic commerce by small to medium enterprises in  Australia, involving interviews with 34 SMEs from different industry groups and from all areas of Australia including rural and regional areas.

  • B2B E-Commerce: capturing value online, offering an independent assessment of contemporary developments in business-to-business e-commerce and a description of Government achievements.

  • Government Online - Better Practice Checklists, a series of short, practical checklists on the key issues that Commonwealth agencies might need to consider when providing services online. The checklists cover putting forms online, website navigation, user testing, use of cookies, online sales, archiving web resources; and managing online content. 

  • Government Online - Solutions Map. a database that provides a private facility [available to  Commonwealth agencies only] to enable agencies to share information about how  they have addressed common challenges in putting their services online, and  help agencies avoid reinventing wheels by facilitating the exchange of ideas, solutions and experiences with online technologies and business problems.

  • NetSpots Directory, a searchable online database that lets you search for public Internet access facilities across Australia, including Internet cafes, public libraries and other  location where you can access the web.


The Business Services Training Package BSB01 has been endorsed by ministers for vocational education and training in federal and state agencies. The package provides a new set of Australian business training qualifications from Certificate I through to advanced diploma. Thirty-seven qualifications, to be used by every TAFE institute, private business college and school in the country, will replace more than 400 accredited courses and will cover: common business; business administration, business development advertising; marketing & sales, small business management; frontline management; strategic management, Recordkeeping; governance for indigenous organisations, human resources; and assessment & workplace training. New competencies and qualifications in e-business will be added to the Business Services Training Package later in 2001. The package is available from Business Services Training Australia. Contact:  [Source Aus-archivists]

The e-TERM Project [European program for Training in Electronic Records Management] has launched its website at  [Source: aus-archivists]




Hot on the heels of the European and Australian studies of cross sectoral issues,  Resource: the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries in the UK is also seeking input on the future of museums, libraries and archives. Web: [Source: NINCH-announce]


In the United States, the Institute of Museums and Library Services has made available the funds to encourage excellence, collaboration and the use of digital technology in the following areas: $US15.5 million for outstanding museums; MAP grants to assess 112 museums;  over $US7.5 million for library/museum collaborations; over $US2.6 million for hi-tech research in libraries; over $US6.5 million to bring library collections to the Internet; over $US2.9 million for museums to innovate online; and over $US2 Million to connect tribal library communities; Web:


Collection Description

Collection Description Focus is a joint UKOLN and CIMI project involving a survey of collection level description activity to gain an understanding of the use descriptive standards and identify areas where further work is required. Contact: Web:


Colorado Digitisation Project

The Colorado Digitization Project has launched Heritage, a Dublin Core-based database that provides access to websites and digital objects created by Colorado's archives, historical societies, libraries and museums. The database operates on the OCLC SiteSearch software. Participants can create records online using the DC Builder software developed by the CDP or by sending files from local library and  museum databases. The CDP developed crosswalks to support the merging of the metadata into a single database.  Web: [Source: NINCH-Announce)


Cultural Heritage initiatives

The latest issue of Cultivate Interactive is available from the UK Office of Library Networking as part of the European Commission's Digital Heritage and Cultural Content (DIGICULT) program, The issue features news and articles on international collaboration, museum audiences, national and international content creation programs, CORDIS, virtual reality, IFAEK: [A Vision of Improvements for a More Structured and Personalized World Wide Web], content management and Web publishing systems. Web: [Source NINCH-ANNOUNCE]


Distributed National Electronic Resource

DNER has published the first issue of its Collections Update, an e-mail newsletter designed to inform those responsible for managing local and institutional collections about DNER collections activities and developments. ( It includes information on three policy and strategy documents - Collections Development Policy (; Collection Strategy:  Charging Policy at:] as well as information on  EMBASE, JSTOR Ecology & Botany Collection, Web of Science, e-books and EEBO.


Preservation/Conservation of Digital Heritage in Europe

The Committee on Digital Preservation of the Conference of Directors of National Libraries (CDNL) has prepared a Draft Resolution on Preservation of Digital Heritage Prepared for the UNESCO General Conference [Source: NINCH announce]


A Friends of the National Film and Sound Archive has been formed as an independent non-profit incorporated association to support and extend the work of the National Film and Sound Archive (ScreenSound Australia).  The Friends was initially formed in response to concern about the change to the Archive's name and the re-location of its Sydney office to the commercial premises of the Fox Studios. The group has been instrumental in the restoration of the word "Archive" to the formal name of the organisation. The official name of the institution is now the National Screen and Sound Archive, although an abbreviated form of this formal name is gaining wide currency. Membership of the Group is free. To join, contact Andrew Pike [Source: aus-archivists]


Anita L Halverson and Joye Volker in The Integration of Computer Services with Academic Arts Libraries: New Strategies for the Hybrid Professional in Art Libraries Journal Vol 26 no 3 (2001) describe how two libraries, the National Institute of the Arts at the Australian National University and California Institute of the Arts in Southern California, manage an interdependent relationship with the information technology or network services units in their respective institutions. Major considerations are the introduction of electronic full-text art information on the Web and its pedagogical implications, issues faced by arts libraries in the integration of computer services in universities and colleges, and the changing roles of arts librarians and libraries. Art Libraries Journal is published by Art Libraries Society UK and Ireland


The conference Humanities Computing Curriculum / The Computing Curriculum in the Arts and Humanities will be held on November 9-10, 2001 in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada. Details: 

The New Directions in Humanities Computing Conference (ALLC/ACH 2002 University of Tuebingen, July 23-28 2002) has called for papers relating to the common ground between information technology and problems in humanities research and teaching. Conference organisers are seeking presentations on: new approaches to research in humanities disciplines using digital resources dependent on images, audio or video; the application to humanities data of techniques developed in such fields as information science and the physical sciences and engineering; traditional applications of computing in the humanities, including (but not limited to) text encoding, hypertext, text corpora, computational lexicography, statistical models, and text analysis; applications in the digital arts, especially projects and installations that feature technical advances of potential interest to humanities scholars; information design in the humanities, including visualization, simulation, and modelling; pedagogical applications of new media within the humanities; thoughtful considerations of the cultural impact of computing and new media; theoretical or speculative treatments of new media; the institutional role of new media within the contemporary academy, including curriculum development and collegial support for activities in these fields; the broader social role of humanities computing and the resources it develops. Web:



Content Management Systems

Philip Hunter follows a recent Ariadne article with a detailed list of the different content management systems in A Content Management and Web Publishing Systems Gazetteer available at


Digital Preservation Handbook

The Preservation Management of Digital Materials: A Handbook by Maggie Jones and Neil Beagrie has been published by the British Library with funding from The Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries  The UK and Australian distributor is Turpin Distribution Services Email: The American distributor is University of Toronto Press, Email [Source NINCH ANNOUNCE]


Dublin Core Metadata Element Set Approved

The National Information Standards Organization and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative  have announced the approval by ANSI of the Dublin Core Metadata Element Set (Z39.85-2001).  The current standard defines fifteen metadata elements for resource description in a cross-disciplinary information environment.  These elements are: title, subject, description, source, language, relation, coverage, creator, publisher, contributor, rights, date, type, format, and identifier. The standard is available for free downloading or hardcopy purchase at Additional Information and [Source NINCH-ANNOUNCE]


HILT Thesaurus Project

The September 2001 issue of D-Lib Magazine includes HILT - High-Level Thesaurus Project: Building Consensus for Interoperable Subject Access across Communities by Susannah Wake and Dennis Nicholson, University of Strathclyde. Web: :  


Library Statistics

NISO, the National Information Standards Organization, has announced the formation of a committee to revise ANSI/NISO Z39.7-1995, the Library Statistics Standard.  The committee will recommend improvements based on survey instruments in use by nationally recognized U.S. library data collection programs.  It will also review the revised base standard in light of evolving methods of measuring electronic network performance, vendor and publisher-based use statistics, reporting methods, and service quality measures; and to advise NISO on how best to integrate new measures into Z39.7 and/or suggest other appropriate approaches (such as nationally supported best practices or guidelines) that over time might lead to the development of national consensus standards. Web:


Physical storage of records

The National Archives of Australia has published its Standard for the Physical Storage of Commonwealth Records (2001), offering a code of best practice for the storage of records to help government agencies assess commercial storage provider services as well as their own in-house storage arrangements. It emphasises the need for government agencies to adopt a risk-management approach to storage based on the relative value of the records and the cost effectiveness of protection, security and accessibility. it is available in PDF and RTF formats and can be accessed at [Source: aus-archivists]


Onstage, newsletter of the Victoria Theatres Trust, includes information on Australian theatre history and contemporary issues. The Spring 2001 issue has articles on Bendigo theatrical history, biographical articles on Julius Knight, Jonathon Dewhurst, Ellen Terry, and obituaries on Pauline Garrick, Rita Paterson (Wallace), Joan Rutley, June Salter, Walter Stinger, Fenella Maguire. Contact: 


An issues paper has been published as part of the Contemporary Visual Arts and Craft Inquiry. The paper is intended to stimulate debate, focus the Inquiry's investigations and encourage contributions on education and training, infrastructure,  financial and legislative, government support, the challenges and opportunities of new technologies; and economic and creative contributions. Web [Source: Australian Museums Forum]

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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