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Meet the Metadata Officer

Hello, having been working on the project now for 4 weeks I thought I should introduce myself.  I’m Laura and have been working at the University Library for two and a half years as a cataloguer. The last four weeks have been a whirlwind tour of the project including team meetings, finding my way round Contentdm, meeting the project partners, familarising myself with ghostsigns and Google Street View and last but not least finalising the metadata we wish to assign to each collection. It has been an enjoyable few weeks and I have enjoyed the challenges so far and look forward to rolling out the training with our community partners in the next couple of weeks.

Meet the oral historian

Hello, my name is Colin Hyde and I run the East Midlands Oral History Archive (EMOHA), which is based in the Centre for Urban History at the University of Leicester.

EMOHA was originally funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund to establish the first large-scale archive of oral history recordings for Leicestershire & Rutland. This includes the collections of the former Leicester Oral History Archive, the Mantle archive from North West Leicestershire, the Community History archive of Leicester City Libraries, and the sound archive of BBC Radio Leicester, along with smaller collections donated by local organisations or individuals.

For the My Leicestershire project I shall be digitising, and loading onto the website, a number of oral history recordings from the 1980s and a selection of Radio Leicester recordings covering the period 1968-1999. These recordings are all on quarter inch reel to reel tapes and will eventually deteriorate to the point where they are unplayable. Fortunately they have been stored well and most are still sounding good, so I’m looking forward to preserving and displaying them through the My Leicestershire website.

I’ll post updates of my progress via the blog and highlight any issues around the digitisation process, or any particularly intersting interviews or programmes I come across.

Meet the project director

My name is Ben Wynne.  I am Head of Academic Liaison at the University of Leicester Library.  What does that mean you might well ask?  I am responsible for ensuring that we provide relevant and accessible information resources for the University’s research, learning and teaching and that our customers know what resources are available to them and that they are in a position to benefit from them.  To achieve this we have a team of librarians working with academic departments to keep in tune with their needs, support their students and researchers and develop our ‘collections’ (digital being a major focus, of course).

This project very much fits within that picture – and more broadly with the Library supporting the University’s role in the wider community.  This is a great opportunity to create the bases for a local history archive with our project partners.  As project director, one of my main responsiblities is to ensure that the structures and resources are there to enable those doing the real work – people like Ed as project manager – to make progress and achieve our objectives.

Meet the IPR person

Gareth J JohnsonHello, I’m Gareth Johnson and in terms of the MLDA project I’m there to advise mostly on IPR and copyright related issues.  Unlike quite a few of my compatriots I’ve only a small committment in terms of actual time on the project, which is a shame as I think this is a really fascinating endeavour that Ed and the rest of the team have taken on.  At the moment I’m looking into drawing up some of the documentation we’ll be needing further down the line in the project, crucial but perhaps not especially exciting to blog about. 

My day-to-day role at Leicester is managing our copyright, document supply, distance learning document supply and institutional open access repository (the LRA) teams.  I blog about my activities in this respect over here.

Meet the project team (pt1)

After a rather extended and unscheduled hiatus on this blog I think it is an appropriate time to introduce ourselves, and what we are doing on this project.  Look out for posts from each member of the team in the next few days.

My name is Ed Kirkland. I’m the project manager.  I have already broadly outlined the project  but will add a bit of detail now. 

The intention of the project is to create a sustainable digital archive to aggregate historical materials of relevance to Leicestershire.  We have an initial batch of materials in mind to establish the archive.  These materials have been selected form the archives of MACE, EMOHA and the University of Leicester library Special Collections.  They have been selected using usage data showing that there is high demand for them.

One prominent item identified from the library Special Collections is John Nichol’s work “The history and antiquities of the county of Leicester” which is not freely available online at present and is regularly consulted in the reading room.  This book is 5,500 pages in 4 quite large volumes hence we are talking to a variety of companies about the requirements we have for digitising it – more on that in a future post.

The real key to this project however will be building relationships with our user community.  We are hoping that as the project becomes established community groups who have collections relating to Leicestershire will upload their collections.  A large part of my role on the project will be to foster these relationships and to provide training and support to assist the community partners to scan, edit, and upload (with metadata) their materials.

I would imagine that I’ll be writing the majority of posts on this blog so if you want to contact me please either leave a comment or e-mail me at ek159@le.ac.uk