Now that we’ve cleared up what this blog is for perhaps it would be a good time to say something about the project.
This project has been initiated because the special collections managed by the University of Leicester Library (UoL), the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) and the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA) are not readily available to the general public. The reasons for this include the frail condition of rare texts or in the case of videos or oral histories, intellectual property rights. To access these resources individuals must visit in person and request access on an item by item basis. Providing public access to these materials in digital form is a key aim of the project. However the sheer scale of these collections makes it unrealistic to expect the entire collections to be digitised in the near future.
Within the project public engagement will be encouraged by the active involvement of community organisations in the identification and prioritisation of the material which will be added to the My Leicestershire Digital Archive.
In addition, two community organisations – the Leicester Industrial Heritage Society and Rothley Heritage Trust – which have collected unique resources on their own, will be provided with the training and infrastructure required to add their own digital content to the archive.
As the material is digitised and becomes available community engagement is further planned with the availability of Web 2.0 social tagging, comments and ratings functionality in the user interface.