Report from stakeholder meeting

On 31st May, we held a meeting for stakeholders and other interested parties, to talk about the SALDA project and its impact on future developments. Attending the meeting were:

Karen Watson SALDA Project Manager, University of Sussex
Fiona Courage Special Collections Manager, University of Sussex
Jane Harvell Head of Academic Services, University of Sussex
Chris Keene Technical Development Manager, University of Sussex
Richard Fisher Business Analyst – ICT Services, East Sussex County Council
Elizabeth Hughes County Archivist, East Sussex Record Office
Jenny Hand Knowledge and information Manager, Royal Pavilion and Museums

The Keep is only two years away so naturally the focus is on finding systems that support all the partners and enable researchers to search and use the collections. Transforming all our data into Linked Data would enable cross searching and enhanced resource discovery, but there is an issue of time.  However, there was a general feeling in the room that the data preparation that we have identified that will allow mapping /easier transference  will make us ready for other solutions or to embark on a linked data exercise in the future.

Data potential

It was good to discuss the different ways that our collective data could be used outside of the reading room. There is potential for mobile apps, hack days and contributions to other projects – Brighton and Hove Museums already contribute to Culture Grid. SALDA has enabled us to see this potential with the added benefit that any enhancements and changes that we make to our catalogue data will improve resource discovery for researchers within our exisiting systems.

I’ve said before that alot of what we are talking about in terms of changes to our data is quite basic stuff (date in the date field etc) and a colleague pointed out that libraries had these conversations years ago. It is the diverse and complicated nature of archives that means that a one size fits all approach is difficult to achieve, so we are looking at the minimum we need to do, with our strategic goal being that we want to be ready to export / map / transfer our data and make it as portable as possible.

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