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Digitised Content in the UK Research Library and Archives Sector

Digitisation in the UK: the case for a UK Framework - A report based on the Loughborough University study


In just a handful of years, an enormous amount of richly detailed and flexible digital material has been amassed in the UK as technology has expanded to make it possible: a conservative estimate suggests £130 million of public money has been spent on the creation of digital content since the mid-1990s.

Nevertheless, this growth has been as unstructured as it has been phenomenal, and the material has accumulated in the absence of a UK framework for digitisation to advise on content, standards and sustainability, rather than in response to one. Digital programmes have sprung up in piecemeal fashion, dictated by individual circumstances, and executed locally. And the picture has been confused by the proliferation of standards and formats for digital surrogates, the varying approaches to accessibility, and the considerable number of advisory bodies which encourage take up of one scheme over another, despite minimum standards being outlined in JISC’s Information Environment Architecture Standards and MINERVA’s Technical Guidelines for Digital Cultural Content Creation Programmes2. Moreover, digital projects have tended to be driven by supply rather than demand, spurred by opportunity instead of actual need.

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Weblink: The UK Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC)