JISC is delighted to announce that King’s College London has been awarded the ‘WW1 Discovery: Content Prioritisation’ contract. This work will undertake essential primary research that will guide and underpin the wider JISC WW1 Discovery programme which aims to aggregate and deliver WW1 content by building an aggregation, API and discovery layer so that related material can be discovered more easily by educators and researchers.
2014 marks the centenary of the outbreak of World War One and the beginning of a succession of commemorations of landmark campaigns and battles alongside consideration of one of the biggest social upheavals the world has experienced in living memory. The ‘war to end all wars’ to this day remains the most widely covered in teaching in further and higher education and is a huge focus for research across disciplines but despite the growth of exciting multidisciplinary approaches to its study, little centralised information exists on what aspects of the war are being taught or the key research questions in development. Additionally, whilst a vast plethora of collections on World War One reside in digital and analogue forms in a range of museums, galleries, archives, libraries etc across the UK, much remains underexploited by education and research due to its sheer volume and its presentation collection ‘silos’.
Due to this breadth and depth of content available around WW1, it is necessary to prioritise the potential content that could or should be included in an initial aggregation of material and which will, ideally, act as a foundation for future work in this area. This prioritisation will be based on an in-depth knowledge on the WW1 collections available, i.e. the types of content (e.g. film, images documents etc) they cover as well as their availability vis a vis licensing and re-use terms, but will also, most crucially, meet and address an identified academic or educational need and/or priority. Once we understand these issues, we are much better placed to be able to not only provide a basis for the JISC WW1 Discovery aggregation, but also to provide essential information to those scoping WW1 projects throughout the public sector.
This is a potentially huge piece of work and expectations will be managed in terms of how much will be achieved by the completion date of 20 March 2012. However, to give the project team the best chance of success, it is important that as wide a range of views as possible are gathered. To this end, KCL will be conducting desk research and telephone interviews as necessary on what is actually taught in HE, compiling targeted surveys of resources available and their use and seeking input of academic and information professionals through focus groups, lists and invitations to blog/Twitter.