RunCoCo workshop

If you want further training in how to run a community collection see the workshop RunCoCo will be running in wales in July:

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Anna Caughey joins the team

As of 1st July Anna Caughey (Melbourne, Oxford) will be joining the Woruldhord team. Anna has completed her phD in Medieval English at Oxford and has been teaching Old English at Merton College.

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It would be bizarre to assume I can do this all by myself! Although this project isn’t running any events even an online submission site will need more support than I can give. I’m currently trying to recruit a graduate student to cover the work during the summer – their tasks being:

  • help advertise the site
  • answer queries
  • check submissions (which requires subject expertise)

This doesn’t have to be too costly, of course, and I’m hoping to restrict this to one person for 2 days a week during July-October, on paid as claimed hours.

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One of the most important things you need to do is engender interest in the project. I already have a Facebook group which I’ve been maintaining for Old English studies ( which has several hundred users so that was an obvious place to get news out. In addition there are two main discussion lists (academic) – ANSAX-L and TOEBI – which will also be targeted.

Innaddition there are public societies interested in recreating the period, and studying its various aspects. In the UK, though they have wider international branches, these are Regia Anglorum and The Englsican Gesithas. Both ahve a network of enthusiasts who can be contacted and will hopefully engage in the project.

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Metadata …

Had long meeting with Alun Edwards – the PM on RunCoCo – in preparation for the meeting on wednesday. We began to consider what metadata fields Woruldhord would use. This is an age-old topic, of course, probably older than Beowulf for the matter but in the end we came down to deciding it was best to stick to Dublin Core and limit the amount of information the user would be asked to input to the bare minimum.

Considering the submission process some information about the contributor would be caught at the registration stage which would equate to RIGHTSHOLDER and CONTRIBUTOR. We could also automatically insert ID and PUBLISHER (i.e. Project Woruldhord) and RIGHTS.

We then needed to think about what fields were appropriate to use and what we would ask the user to complete. It is clear that for a community collection to work it should not require excessive cataloguing, unless the community was used to such a thing. In the end we decided on the following:

* = non-optional

DESCRIPTION (would also contain transcriptions, stories, etc)
CREATOR (who wrote it? e.g. ‘Cynewulf’, ‘D. Scragg’, etc)
DATE (Date of creation of the surrogate, e.g. if an event was filmed the date of the event, publication date of a book, date of a photograph taken – NOT date of the actual item itself)
LANGUAGE (we felt this should be the main languages you need to have to understand the item and should include modern European languages, and medieval languages)
AUDIENCE (for learning resources – we need to look at terminology that maps UK education with grades/years elsewhere)
COVERAGE (date and location of the subject/object, e.g. ‘1016’, ‘Sutton Hoo’)

We would then (ourselves) add SUBJECT (Keywords – to cover the subject of the item, type of item e.g. ‘coin’, and the primary discipline e.g. ‘archaeology’), and TYPE (image, sound, video, etc) at the post cataloguing stage.

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Gearing up for workshop

Getting ready for the workshop run for Oxford projects. There will be one afterwards open to anyone from the UK:

“If you are interested in community collections (like The Great War Archive) or working to harness a community to enrich an existing collection with tags or comments (like Galaxy Zoo) then OUCS would like to invite you to collaborate in a meeting on 5 May in Oxford. The meeting has a number of purposes:

– This is a chance for managers and others from community collection projects in and around Oxford to share best practice and exchange knowledge.

– This will be an opportunity for Oxford projects with some shared interests to meet face-to-face. The OUCS project, RunCoCo, will launch an online ‘community of interest’ for those involved in community collection or working to harness a community to enrich an existing collection with tags or comments. In the past OUCS has done this successfully for other subjects (like teaching First World War literature). However, these ventures have a better chance of working well when participants have met in person.

– RunCoCo will also disseminate the processes, open-source software and results of the Great War Archive, a pilot community collection project based at OUCS and the English Faculty, which ran for 3 months in 2008. RunCoCo will capture the results of any discussions from the day and use this to ensure our resources are correctly focussed on what projects need to run this kind of initiative.

– RunCoCo will highlight three training workshops we will hold during Spring-Summer 2010 to disseminate resources and software for community collection projects. We hope to encourage other community projects to present at one or more of these workshops, and to encourage newer projects like INSERT NAME HERE to attend. The workshops will be free of charge and open to anyone from the education/public sector. The first is on 26 May at OUCS.

Places are limited, so please RSVP by completing our form on SurveyMonkey at by 1700 on 22 April 2010. Confirmation of your place will be sent ASAP.

The meeting will be held 10.30am – 4.30pm, at OUCS, 13 Banbury Road, Oxford OX26NN. Lunch and other refreshments will be provided free-of-charge. Further details will be available soon at

For further information about the JISC-funded RunCoCo project please see or email Alun Edwards, Project Manager at ”

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Web site live!

After a bit of work (and with great thanks to Joe Talbot and Alun Edwards) the web site has now gone live for the project.

This involved some general information about the project, images, acknowledgements, who was running it, and then a preliminary FAQ. The latter was taken from the Great War Archive project FAQ and modified. A suggestion being that for other community collection projects a mock web site with template pages (and preliminary text for FAQs, digitisation guidelines, etc) would not go amiss!

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Meeting re web site

Just met OUCS’s Web Design Consultancy about setting up a project web site. Discussions centred on:

* what URL will be used
* where the project page will be located and how this relates to the page where the community collection will run

We then considered some basic lay-outs for the page(s) and things that were needed for the designers were:

* text
* headers/subtitles
* images we might want to use
* other pages (think ahead as to what might be needed)
* how to feed the blog in (this one)

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Flickr Groups

Have now joined two Flickr groups:

Anglo-Saxon Art –


Anglo-Saxon Architecture –

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First steps

Had our first meeting with the RunCoCo team to discuss setting up the projects.

1) Project name – needed to be something meaningful, easy to type, did not involve diacritics (thorns, eths, etc). Came up with the idea of a collection, or hoard. Looked at gegaderung but this is being used as the name for tha Engliscan Gesithas’s forum. So in the end came up with ‘woruldhord’ – a hapax legomonon (i.e. here).

2) What resources are there? This would feed into discussions about the scope of the project. RunCoCo team would help, but along with myself it was suggested we look to see if graduates could be recruited.

3) Project aim – to collect public submissions (from the public and academics) on any material related to the Anglo-Saxon period of English history – history, art, archaeology, literature, language, etc. This would include photographs, documents, video, audio, and learning objects.

4) Collection process – submission days were discussed but it was felt these may not be necessary, as unlike the Great War Archive it was highly unlikely that there would be many people (outside of specialist collectors) who would hold artefacts from the period. So the main collection method will be online, with publicity events. Flash mob photography of Anglo-Saxon sites may be encouraged.

5) Would we take anything? Generally yes, but the system should allow us to say no to certain files (e.g. java code etc). Probably insist on a 20MB limit re upload but would allow people to contact us outside of that.

6) Who is the community? Lectures, teachers who cover the Anglo-Saxon period – history, literature, archaeology, language, art, etc. Members of the public who were enthusiastic about the period. To reach these we came up with a few networks: ansaxnet, TOEBI, Regia Anglorum, Tha Engliscan Gesithas, the History Association, Old English Facebook group, TES staffroom.

7) How would we describe objects (metadata)? Preliminary discussion here but lessons from the GWA was to keep cataloguing simple to encourage submissions and maybe go back and recatalogue. Want to keep to Dublin Core, but will look at descriptive fields for learning material. Could also consider matching it to catalogue fields in Anglo-Saxon England yearly bibliography.

8) Have facebook group already, and a twitter feed. Need to consider other avenues of advertising (online and in print).

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