First Meeting, Edinburgh 15-16 February 1999



Attendance: Alan Borthwick, George MacKenzie, Rob Mildren, John Shaw, NAS; Amanda Elsinghorst, Jaap Kloosterman, IISG; G�ran Kristiansson, Bj�rn Lindh, Per-Gunnar Ottosson, RA; Ishbel Barnes, SCAN; Peter Horsman, Chris Kitching, external experts; Gerhard Heine, DG XIII; Tim Harris, EVA; Stuart Harper, Electrum Multimedia Ltd.

1. Project Outline

George MacKenzie gave a presentation of the 8 constituent workpackages:

WP1 Audit of Finding Aids
WP2 Finding Aid Concordance
WP3 Audit of IT Systems
WP4 Strategies of Integrating Technical Approaches
WP5 Analysis of Archival and Technical Solutions
WP6 Development of Prototype Interface for Internet Access
WP7 Dissemination
WP8 Management and Organisation

WP1 and WP2 are grouped together, as are WP3 and WP4. The results of both groups feed into WP5, which in turn leads into WP6. Dissemination in WP7 is a continuous activity, which will develop progressively as more results emerge from the other WPs. Management and organisation in WP8 is a continuos and vital activity in the background.

Each partner designated the lead person for workpackages 1 to 4:

  • WP1 and 2
    John Shaw, NAS
    Per-Gunnar Ottosson, RA
    Bruna Colarossi, NAI
    Amanda Elsinghorst, IISG
    Ishbel Barnes, SCAN
  • WP3 and 4
    Rob Mildren, NAS and SCAN
    Goran Kristiansson, RA
    Bruna Colarossi, NAI
    Jaap Kloosterman, IISG

The external experts Peter Horsman and Chris Kitching will be consulted on the different workpackages as appropriate.

2. Reports on different descriptive systems

Each of the consortium members gave a presentation on their descriptive systems.

Sweden is possibly the furthest advanced with the ARKIS 2 database: this combines information about persons, information about the fonds and contact information. An example of the administrative history was given in graphical form. IISG have a system that has come from a library-oriented approach, and uses USMARC. NAI (Peter Horsman kindly reported on this project, with which he was familiar) are in the process of developing the descriptive system for the Allied Control Commission archives, and take data from the US along with the microfilm. NAS have a free text retrieval system which was designed to deal with varying standards of description in different finding aids. SCAN will be collecting information at fonds level only for the whole of Scotland.

3. Relations with Other Projects

Tim Harris reported on the European Visual Archive (EVA) project, which involves developing means of delivering digital images of photographs from archives to users by Internet. There are clearly a number of important areas of mutual interest, including descriptive standards, multi-lingual and translation facilities, and legal issues.

Legal issues are the subject of a joint EUAN-EVA meeting, to be held at London Metropolitan Archives on 18 February. George MacKenzie and Bjorn Lindh will attend for EUAN. One of the matters to be examine is whether personal privacy protection legislation will affect information on public databases.

4. Role of European Comission

Gerhard Heine gave a presentation on the work of DG XIII and how the Info2000 initiative, of which EUAN is a part, fits into it. He also gave advice on how the project should be administered, and obligations to report to the Commission. These are contained in guidelines for cost share projects (see 5.5 below).

5. Action Points

  • 5.1 All will look at the ISAD(G) and ISAAR(CPF) elements and see how far their systems are or will be compliant with these standards.
  • 5.2 Sweden to look behind this and say what rules govern (or should govern) the implementation of ISAD(G).
  • 5.3 Chris Kitching is to report back on likely changes to ISAD(G) in the current round of revisions.
  • 5.4 IISG will investigate setting up a website for the project (George to send them the constituent parts of the poster on EUAN in electronic form).
  • 5.5 George MacKenzie will circulate a copy of the EC Guidelines for cost shared projects.

George MacKenzie
Project Co-ordinator
June 1999

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Last updated 7 July 1999.

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